KUCHING: Blake Snyder from Seattle, USA dedicated his victory in the PGM-MNRB Golf Championship at Damai Golf and Country Club (DGCC) yesterday to his idol Arnold Palmer who died in Sept last year.
“I was a great fan of his and it is truly an honour to win this tournament in a golf course designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer,” said the 25-year-old who defeated 62 other contenders in the Sarawak leg of PGM’s calendar of events and Asian Development Tour (ADT).
A first timer to Sarawak, the American pocketed the biggest prize money – RM35,500 – ever offered at the club after his impressive score of 15 under par 273.
Blake, who promised to return next year to defend the title, also secured a third place on the ADT Order of Merit and is in the running for one of the five Asian Tour cards on offer for the 2018 season.
Finishing second was his fellow countryman John Catlin who was just two strokes adrift while Singapore’s Johnson Poh was third with a three-day total of 11 under par 277.
All of the top three are aged 25 and below who gave their senior peers stiff competition throughout the four-day event which started on Oct 5 and was disrupted by monsoon rain on the second day.
Among the casualties at DGCC were Labuan-leg winner Mathiam Keyser from South Africa who was aiming to make it a four-in-a-row after winning titles in the Middle East and North Africa.
Nirun Sae-Ueng from Thailand, who took a commanding lead on the opening and second day, finished 10th after he returned a 10 under par 278 and a bogey at Hole 10 in yesterday’s final round.
Among those watching the proceedings yesterday were PGM president Tun Ahmad Sarji, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain, MNRB Holdings Berhad chairman Datuk Sharkawi Alis and his Group chief executive officer (CEO) Dato Mohd Din Merican.