Photo - Asian Tour
SIVACHANDRAN WINS NEGERI SEMBILAN MASTERS INVITATIONAL
Seremban, Malaysia: Rain at the end of the final round did not damper S. Sivachandran’s impressive performance at the RM500,000 (approximately US$156,000) Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational 2010 at the Seremban International Golf Club (SIGC).
Sivachandran, 31, led from day one and was consistent throughout the week as his eight-stroke advantage at the start of the final round, was hardly challenged. He chalked up a three-under-par 69 for a tournament total of 18-under-par 270 to win the title comfortably by 12 shots, becoming the first Malaysian player to win the event since its inception in 2005. Sivachandran’s tournament total is a new championship record.
Sivachandran won RM78,500 champion’s cheque and as the first Malaysian champion, he pocketed an additional RM10,000 bonus from the Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan, Datuk Seri Utama Mohamad Hasan.
The win put him in the championship’s winners circle that include Toshiyuki Wasa from Japan (2005), M. Murugiah from Singapore (2006), Juvic Pagunsan (2007), Benjie Magada (2008) both from the Philippines and Lam Chih Bing from Singapore (2009).
Two other local players, Akhmal Tarmizee Mohd Nazari and Iain Steel ended in a share of second place with defending champion, Lam on a 282 total, each earning RM36,250.
Meanwhile, 2007 Pakistan Open champion, Airil Rizman Zahari shared fifth place alongside R.Nachimuthu and Korean T.J Lim on a 283 total. The trio banked in approximately RM17,000.
In the final round, Siva was a picture of consistency, sinking four birdies at holes three, four, nine and 12 against a lone bogey at hole five.
“Obviously I’m delighted to win especially since I’m the first local to win. My winning score is a personal best since I turned professional in 2006,” said the recently married Siva who also added that his win today was a belated wedding present. “I’d like to thank the championship’s organizer and sponsors. I dedicate this win to my sponsors Seri Selangor Golf Club, Asia Baru, CrestLink and Titleist as well as my caddie and my wife.”
“I had a very consistent game this week, my driving was perfect, always finding the fairways while my putting was superb, especially long putts in the 20-30 feet region. This win is an ideal boost to my game heading to the Brunei Open later this month and then the Selangor Masters next month. I hope to improve my ranking on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.”
Meanwhile, Akhmal Tarmizee, who currently ranks second on the Asian Development Tour failed to capitalize on his good start where he made four birdies at holes one, three, four and eight to close the gap, standing at eight-under at one time. He was pegged by bogeys on holes five, six and 17 and despite making another birdie at hole 13th, he finished on a 282 total.