Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia, May 1: Berry Henson posted a solid four-under-par 68 to complete a remarkable wire-to-wire victory at the Clearwater Masters 2011 for his first international victory on Sunday.
The American closed with a 19-under-par 269 total to win by a comfortable seven strokes in the inaugural US$75,000 Asian Development Tour event.
Chinese Taipei’s Chang Tse-peng produced the round of the week with 64 to finish in second place at the Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort in Batu Gajah, Perak, which is a 90-minute drive from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
M. Sasidaran was the best placed Malaysian when he battled to a 66 to share third place with Jonathan Moore of the United States and veteran Rick Gibson of Canada on a 277 total.
Highly rated Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines, who shot a 71, was two strokes back with rising stars Panuphol Pittayarat and Thanyakon Khrongpha of Thailand.
Henson, 31, who held a six-shot lead going into the final day, turned in 34 before adding four birdies against two bogeys in his homeward nine.
“This is my first international victory and it hasn’t set in yet but I’m pretty excited especially with the way I played. It was probably on 17 that I saw the leaderboard and knew I was going to win this,” said Henson, who won US$13,125.
He earned his Asian Tour card in Qualifying School earlier this year in Thailand and is hoping to carry his confidence into his next event at the ICTSI Philippine Open in two weeks time.
“This is a great confidence booster especially coming off the week I had last week (Indonesian Masters where he missed the halfway cut). I played really well this week and hit a lot of good shots. My putter won the tournament this week,” added Henson who resides in California.
Sasidaran produced a sparkling performance highlighted by three closing birdies. He almost had an ace on the par three 17th hole when his tee shot hit the flag before stopping mere inches from the hole.
“This is a good performance for me. On the second last hole, I saw that I was closing in on third place and decided to attack which paid off. I’m happy with the result and my overall performance,” said Sasidaran, who was tied ninth yesterday.
Tabuena claimed his first top-10 finish since turning professional in February and was delighted to hit his target of breaking par on all four days.
“I played very well. I’m feeling a bit tired now because of the rain delays and being on the road for two weeks. Overall it was a good tournament for me. This is my first top-10 but I really wanted to win. Maybe next time,” smiled the 16-year-old.
The top three players of the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn their Asian Tour cards for 2012.
Leading fourth round scores
269 - Berry HENSON (USA) 65-70-66-68
276 - CHANG Tse-Peng (TPE) 70-72-70-64
277 - M.Sasidaran (MAS) 72-69-70-66, Jonathan MOORE (USA) 69-72-68-68, Rick GIBSON (CAN) 70-68-70-69
279 - Artemio MURAKAMI (PHI) 71-74-68-66, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 71-70-70-68, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 66-73-70-70, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 69-70-69-71, Atthaphon PRATHUMMANEE (THA) 68-69-70-72
281 - S.Siva CHANDHRAN (MAS) 71-71-69-70
282 - Yosuke TSUKADA (JPN) 69-74-69-70, HSU Chia-Jen (TPE) 66-71-72-73
283 - Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 74-65-68-76
Photo - Asian Tour
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com