x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Kang finishes top of the pile in Malaysia

Anthony Kang emerges from a tightly-bunched field to win the Malaysian Open by one shot and end an eight-year victory drought.

Anthony Kang celebrates winning the Maybank Malaysian Open at Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur.
Anthony Kang celebrates winning the Maybank Malaysian Open at Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur.

Anthony Kang ended an eight-year victory drought, rolling home a short birdie at the final hole to emerge from a tightly-bunched field with a one-stroke victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open today. The American, 36, began the final round two shots behind overnight leader Adam Blyth of Australia but closed with a five-under-par 67 at Saujana Golf and Country Club's Palm Course to win the US$2million (Dh7.35m) event, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours. Kang finished with a 17-under-par 271 total for the biggest win of his career and first on the Asian Tour since the 2001 Myanmar Open.

With his late birdie, Kang avoided a possible five-way play-off with the English duo of David Horsey (64) and Miles Tunnicliff (68), Jyoti Randhawa of India (66) and Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng (68), who finished tied for second on 16 under. Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin had nine birdies but bogeyed his final hole for a six-under 66 as he finished alone in sixth on 15 under. Louis Oosthuizen improved his position in the top 10 in the Race to Dubai after closing with a 65 to join Liang Wen-chong and Alexander Noren in a share for seventh place. Blyth was alone in 10th on 13 under after carding a disappointing 73. The World No 11 Anthony Kim, the highest ranked player in the field finished in a tie for 33rd on seven under after closing with a five-under-par 67. Kang moved up the leaderboard early with three birdies on the front nine and was two shots in front of the field on 17 under after further birdies on the 11th and 13th. But the pressure appeared to get to the Asian Tour regular as the field closed in and he dropped a stroke on the 15th after putting his approach shot into the pond fronting the green. He parred the next two holes to arrive at the par-five 18th in a tie for the lead with Horsey, Randhawa and Prayad but gave himself a chance to secure the outright win by reaching the green in two. His eagle putt from around 21m came up just short but after Prayad missed his birdie attempt, the American was able to tap in to secure the victory. *PA Sport