Justin Harding of South Africa cruised to a six-shot victory at the Royal Cup to become the first player since 2011 to win back-to-back titles on the Asian Tour on Sunday.
The in-form Harding fired a three-under-par 67 in the final round of the US$500,000 Asian Tour event. With a winning total of 14-under-par 266, Harding became the first player to win twice in his first two starts in Asia.
“It’s been a good little run, I can’t really put into words right now,” Harding said.
“Two weeks ago it was a surprise, but obviously been playing nicely, just tried to get three good rounds starting the week and put myself fin position and then get the job done.”
The 32-year-old, who won the BANK BRI Indonesia Open two weeks ago, took home the winner’s purse of US$90,000 while earning his fourth title in a span of two months at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.
Defending champion Shiv Kapur of India battled to a 71 to share second place with Queensland’s Jake McLeod (67), Kurt Kitayama (67) of the United States and Chapchai Nirat, who finished as the highest ranked local player following a 68.
“I’m playing well right now and my goal was to try and secure an Asian Tour card but missed out at Qualifying School so I only have conditional status,” McLeod said. “So, this is my fourth event and I am heading to Fiji next week so I am hoping I can use that to get another good result there.
The Royal Cup is held in honour of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, who celebrated his 66th birthday yesterday.