BANGKOK, Thailand: John Catlin of the United States became 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 on Sunday.
American Sihwan Kim 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.
The local hopes of welcoming another home winner were dashed as Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao could not surmount the late charge needed and ended his week in third place at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
India’s Viraj Madappa enjoyed a welcome return to form by finishing fourth after missing three cuts since his maiden breakthrough at home in in August.
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 two straight 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.
Did you know?
– John Catlin is the fifth player to win three titles on the Asian Tour in one season.
– The others include Simon Dyson (2000), Thaworn Wiratchant (2012), Lee Westwood (2011), Shiv Kapur (2017).
– Thaworn remains the only player to have won four times in a single season in 2005.
– Catlin’s previous victories were achieved at this year’s Asia-Pacific Classic and the Sarawak Championship.
– He has a very impressive form this season. Prior to his latest victory, Catlin missed only one cut in 14 Asian Tour appearances.
– Catlin moved to Hua Hin, Thailand from California in 2016 and trains at the Springfield Golf and Country Club.
– Sihwan Kim has already enjoyed five top-five finishes this season. They include his second place result at this week’s Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.
– Kim is a graduate of the 2017 Asian Tour Qualifying School. Straight after securing his card, he went on to claim two straight top-10 finishes at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open and Bashundhara Bangladesh Open.
– He secured a tied-sixth finish at the season-ending Indonesian Masters to finish in 55th place on the Habitat for Humanity Standings and retain his card for 2018.
– Hung Chien-yao holds the honour of carding the week’s first hole-in-one recorded during the first round. His ace was achieved using an eight-iron from 177 yards on the 17th hole.
– Hung finished tied-10th in his last Yeangder TPC appearance in 2016 and his best result this season was a tied-20th finish at the Sarawak Championship in July.
– Hung has yet to win on the Asian Tour but has one Asian Development Tour (ADT) title which he won on home soil in 2013.
– Viraj Madappa became the youngest Indian player to win on the Asian Tour after lifting the 2018 TAKE Solutions Masters trophy in August.
– He won at the age of 20 years and nine months, breaking the previous record set by Gaganjeet Bhullar, who was 21 years and three months old when he won his first Asian Tour title at the 2009 Indonesia President Invitational.