Randhawa falls one short, finishes second in Malaysian Open

February 15th, 2009 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 15 (IANS) Jyoti Randhawa was unable to nail a 50-footer for an eagle and was left stranded one shot shy of the winner Anthony Kang at the Maybank Malaysian Open golf here Sunday.

Randhawa, whose last top-10 finish came in May 2008, shot a second successive six-under 66 and ended at 16-under 272 in a tie for second place with Thai Prayad Marksaeng, and English duo of David Horsey and Miles Tunnicliff.

Lying fourth overnight, Shiv Kapur slipped on the front nine with a five-over 41 with three bogeys and one double bogey, before making up with four birdies and one bogey on back nine for a 74 and a total of nine-under 279. Kapur slipped to tied 21st, while S.S.P. Chowrasia shot 73 with two birdies on last two holes to finish at three-over 291 in tied 68th place.

Jyoti picked up $133,055 in his first tournament on the Asian Tour this season. The event is also co-sanctioned by the European Tour.

While Kang was looking for his first win since 2000 Myanmar Open, Randhawa was searching for his first win since October 2007 at the Hero Honda Indian Open. The Indian charged up the leaderboard in style with eight birdies and two bogeys during his six-under 66. He reached the 18th green in two, but needed a difficult 50-foot eagle chance to get to 17-under-par.

“I had to shoot around eight under to win but I came close. I needed to make birdies coming in but I was happy. Anthony played great, he deserves it,” said Randhawa.

Ninth overnight, Randhawa who opened the day with three straight birdies and then with six pars, turned in three-under. A bogey on 10th was followed by a birdie on 11th, but then there was another bogey on 12th. He again birdied three in a row from 13th to 16th to come into contention. He missed out on birdies on 16th and 17th and did manage one last one on 18th, but it was still one shot short.

Kang ended an eight-year title drought with a last-hole birdie. The Asian Tour regular held his nerve on a nail-biting final round at Saujana Golf and Country Club to pick up his third and biggest career victory after a five-under-par 67 gave him a winning total of 17-under-par 271.

“I actually dreamt last night that I won the tournament but I have those sort of dreams quite often” quipped Kang. “It feels great to have beaten a strong field here - it hasn’t quite sunk in but it is an amazing feeling.

Starting the day two off the lead, Kang turned in 33 with some glorious play, which included long birdie conversions on the sixth and eighth holes to lead by one stroke.

But the quality of golf that came through meant that no fewer than eight players were in with a chance of winning the title down the back straight.

But Kang showed his mettle after his bogey on 15. Knowing that he needed to birdie the 18th hole to win, he struck two mighty blows to reach the green in two and then safely two-putted for birdie from 45 feet to win the top cheque of US$333,330, and also his first European Tour title.

“That last putt from a foot and a half, I knew it was pretty simple. It’s nice to have a putt like that to win,” said Kang.

Leading final round scores

271 - Anthony Kang (USA) 74-66-64-67

272 - David Horsey (ENG) 71-68-69-64, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 71-69-66-66, Miles Tunnicliff (ENG) 71-70-63-68, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 69-70-65-68

273 - Gareth Maybin (NIR) 69-69-69-66

274 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 70-71-68-65, Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 65-71-67-71, Alexander Noren (SWE) 63-71-69-71

275 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 66-70-66-73

276 - James Kamte (RSA) 70-72-68-66, Johan Edfors (SWE) 69-71-68-68, Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 62-73-71-70, Danny Chia (MAS) 66-65-74-71

277 - Nick Dougherty (ENG) 66-70-72-69?278 - Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 74-69-73-62, Klas Eriksson (SWE) 68-75-69-66, Angelo Que (PHI) 73-70-69-66, Ross Mcgowan (ENG) 70-70-71-67, Simon Dyson (ENG) 71-66-73-68

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