Linkou, Chinese Taipei: John Catlin became only the fifth person to win three titles in a single season on the Asian Tour when he signed off with a flawless seven-under-par 65 to win the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.
Fellow-American Kim Sih-wan was tussling with Catlin for the outright lead right until the 16th hole where a costly bogey pegged him back to second place which he would eventually finish at the US$500,000 event.
“This win means a lot to me. All the pressure of trying to qualify for CIMB next week and not knowing where I was standing. And to be able to stand up to that is just awesome. That’s why you work so hard. That’s why you put in all those hours in preparation for rounds like today,” said Catlin.
“I told myself to hit the fairways and the birdie putt on 16 was huge. It was massive having a two-shot lead going into the last two holes. Because if you’ve only got a one-shot lead, anything can happen on the 18th.
“I made a lot of really good putts and that’s what’s you’ve got to do, especially when someone is chasing you. If you told me I was going to play in a PGA Tour event six months ago, I would be like: ‘It’s not going to happen’. But now that I’ve got in, it’s amazing and I’m so excited to there.”
Catlin, who held a share of the lead since the second round, had a decisive birdie on 16 to thank for giving him a two-shot cushion heading into his final two holes.
That advantage provided him with much relief as pars on 17 and 18 saw him close with a winning total of 15-under-par 273 and sealed his place as the newest winner of the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.
Local hopes of welcoming another home winner were dashed as Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao was unable to mount a late charge and ended his week in third place at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Indian Viraj Madappa enjoyed a welcome return to form by finishing fourth after missing three cuts since his maiden victory at home in in August.