Port Dickson, Malaysia, May 30: New Zealand’s Sean Riordan erased the heartbreak of missing the grade at the Asian Tour Qualifying School by closing with an even-par 71 to win his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the RM200,000 (approx. US$60,000) PGM Port Dickson Championship on Saturday.
Riordan, who led the ADT event after the second round, endured a nervous finish as he signed off with a four-day total of 11-under-par 273 to snatch a one-shot victory over close friend Paul Donahoo of Australia at the Port Dickson Golf and Country Club.
The Malaysian trio of Shaaban Hussin, R.Nachimuthu and Kemarol Baharin shared third place together with Sweden’s Oskar Arvidsson on 275 total at the PGM Port Dickson Championship, which is the 13th leg of this season’s ADT Schedule.
Starting the day with a comfortable three-shot advantage, a nervous Riordan saw that lead quickly disappear as he dropped three shots in his first seven holes. The New Zealander managed to redeem himself by firing two birdies on eight and nine.
After turning in 36, he continued his search for more birdies but it would not come until the closing 18th hole where his decisive putt from 10ft would be enough for him to fend off the spirited challenge from Donahoo, who had posted the day’s lowest score of 66.
“It was a rough day but I managed to get the job done. I dug deep and remained very patient and I just can’t wait to go back home and celebrate this victory with my wife now,” said Riordan.
Having lost his opportunity to earn his Asian Tour card in Qualifying School in January, Riordan turned his attention to the ADT where the top-five players on the Order of Merit at the end of the season will be rewarded with their card for the 2016 season.
The 26-year-old knows he has a good chance of playing his way back to the premier Asian Tour, having made a big jump to the third place on the money list with his maiden victory.
“It’s good to know I’m back with a chance of playing on the Asian Tour and this victory has definitely given me the confidence and motivation to do better,” said Riordan.
Despite surmounting a strong challenge on the final day with six birdies and one bogey, Donahoo was magnanimous in defeat and tipped his hat to his traveling roommate and close friend.
“Sean’s a great guy and a very good player. He deserves this victory more than anything else. I managed to hole several good putts today but I guess I should have done more of that earlier in the week,” said the Australian
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The ADT has already published a provisional 2015 Schedule of a 22 tournaments.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading final round scores
273- Sean RIORDAN (New Zealand) 71-62-69-71
274- Paul DONAHOO (Australia) 71-71-66-66
275- Oskar ARVIDSSON (Sweden) 74-68-67-66, Shaaban HUSSIN (Malaysia) 70-68-69-68, R. Nachimuthu (Malaysia) 68-71-68-68, Kemarol BAHARIN (Malaysia) 68-70-67-70
277- Arwed FISCHER (Germany) 72-70-69-66, Airil Rizman ZAHARI (Malaysia) 71-65-70-71, Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (Thailand) 69-70-66-72, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 69-70-66-72
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.