American John Catlin won his maiden Asian Tour title after carding a final-round three-under-par 69 to win the US$300,000 Asia-Pacific Classic on Sunday.
The 27-year-old had a nervy start as he dropped two shots on his opening nine holes. However, he recovered when it mattered most, scoring birdies on holes 11, 13 and 14 before holding on for his maiden Asian Tour victory on a 16-under-par 272 total at the St Andrews Golf Club in Henan, China.
Catlin, a two-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) who has earned his Asian Tour card by finishing third on the ADT merit list, took home a winner's purse of US$54,000. He has risen from 44th to 20th place on the Habitat for Humanity Standings.
“My goal was to win on the Asian Tour and to accomplish that this week is huge,” Catlin said. “Knowing that I can compete and win at this level gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Thailand's Natipong Srithong (66) and Australia's Adam Blyth (70) shared second place, two shots behind Catlin. Natipong shot six birdies during his flawless round, but it was a case of too little, too late. Blyth rued his bogey at the 10th, which took away his momentum in his chase for the title.
“Obviously it was a great week coming in second place,” Blyth said. “But when you had that opportunity to win, you want to finish it.”
Shohei Hasegawa of Japan finished in lone fourth after carding a 69. Andrew Martin of Australia and Miguel Carballo of Argentina share fifth place, while Canada's Justin Shin was a further shot behind in lone seventh place.