Low-key Lin Keng-chi of Chinese Taipei fought off a late challenge from
unheralded local favorite, Aung Win, to shoot a two-under par final round 70
and win the $200,000 Asian PGA Myanmar Open by three strokes.
Last year's Myanmar Open winner Thongchai Jaidee snared birdies on the
final two holes to emerge as runner up to Lin at ten under par for the tournament, when Win could manage only a bogey in front of the large
crowds who had surrounded the 18th green, hoping to see a home grown champion for the first time at this event.
"It was quite hot again today, so I needed to play with extra care and
maintain my concentration," said Lin, who was a late entrant to the Asian
PGA event, having shifted his attention to the Japan Tour in recent years. "I
couldn't afford to think about the others."
Lin and Asian PGA rookie Jason Knutzon from the United States started the
day tied at 10 under for the lead, with Win, Jaidee and South African James
Kingston all clustered three strokes behind.
Lin played steady bogey-free golf, Knutzon blew up with a 79 and Win,
Kingston and Jaidee applied steady pressure on the leader, but to no avail.
Lin held the tournament lead, alone, or sharing it for three days running, and
he had announced prior to play today that he intended to hold on to win the
"I stuck to my own game and it worked," said Lin, the Asian PGA Order of
Merit winner in 1995 with total prizes worth $177,856. He has since focused
his energies on the Japan Tour and has cracked the list of top 100 players in
Jaidee, who won here last year, had stayed close to the leaders each day
and left a strong run for the final two holes, scoring birdies on the long dog
leg left par 5 17th hole and the wide open, but small, sun-baked 18th green.
"It was very difficult to win this tournament, too many guys played this tough
course well," said Jaidee, who was happy to finish well and promised to be
back again next year. "I love Myanmar."
Local pro Aung Win played with veteran Lin and the American Knutzon. A
birdie on the par 4 first hole, started him well. And birdies on the 12th and
13th brought him a tie for the lead with the experienced Taiwanese
But Lin responded with 2 birdies on the final three holes while Aung Win
disappointed his followers with bogies on the 14th and 18th holes.
"The pressure was intense, especially when I dropped a shot," said Win,
who nonetheless expects to play more events on the Asian PGA Tour. "I am
very disappointed to get that bogey on the final hole. One shot costs me a
Win ended up tied for third with James Kingston, who also shot a 2-under 70
for the day. Kingston won the Myanmar Open in 2000 with a Yangon Golf Club tournament record score of 19 under par, which still stands despite
Lin's efforts today.