Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing broke clear of the the pack yesterday to win the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia and claim his maiden Asian Tour victory.
The 31-year-old, who was in a five-way tie for the overnight lead, fired a flawless five-under 67 to win by two strokes from Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, who signed off with a 69. Australian Terry Pilkadaris finished a further stroke back after charging into contention at the Thai Country Club with a bogey-free 66. Taiwan’s Lin Wen-tang came in tied sixth to virtually assure himself a place in the world’s top 50 and also a spot in the US Masters next year.
Lam, who posted a winning 14-under 274 total, hit three birdies over his closing four holes.
“Unbelievable. I have won a bunch of small ones before, but this is just unbelievable. It was such a jam-packed leaderboard and I’m just so glad I went out and finished the job,” said Lam, who picked up a check for US$135,000 to finish 16th on the final Asian Tour Order of Merit. “To win on the Asian Tour has been a dream of mine. I always thought I could win one and to do it is unbelievable.”
■CHEVRON WORLD CHALLENGE
AFP, THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA
US Ryder Cup star Anthony Kim fired a five-under 67 on Saturday to seize the third-round lead at the Chevron World Challenge.
Kim’s 67 matched Vijay Singh for the low round of the day and gave him an eight-under total of 208.
He also benefitted from a late mistake by overnight leader Jim Furyk, who took a double-bogey at the last en route to a 70 for 209.
Colombian Camilo Villegas, Steve Stricker, and Fiji’s Singh were two shots off the pace in the tournament, which is hosted by Tiger Woods for the benefit of his charitable foundation.
Singh got to 210 with his 67, while Stricker carded a 68 and Villegas a 69.
Kim bogeyed the fourth hole, but rebounded with birdies on the fifth, seventh and eighth.
Coming in Kim birdied 10, 12 and 14.
■SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN
AFP, PEARL VALLEY, SOUTH AFRICA
England’s Lee Westwood shot a third-round 68 on Saturday to go 14-under for the South African Open and lead by two strokes after three rounds.
After a day of drama at the par-72 Pearl Valley Golf Estates course in the western Cape, Westwood is set to become just the seventh foreigner to win the second oldest national open golf championship. The Ryder Cup star played some of the most consistent golf seen at the tournament this week and made the most of some other challengers’ hiccups as he rose to the top of the leaderboard.
While Westwood secured four birdies, two on each nine, in a blemish-free round, South African favorite Ernie Els had a day he would rather forget. After shooting back-to-back 67s to lie just two shots off the pace going into the third round, Els slumped to a 77 after recording four bogeys plus triple-bogey sevens at the first and 11th holes.
The ‘Big Easy’ also managed four birdies during his see-saw round.