Finland’s Granberg Wins in Malaysia

Finland’s Joonas Granberg fired a closing round of six-under-par 66 to edge out Thai teenager Panuphol Pittayarat and win the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia on Saturday.

The 24-year-old rookie, who set a new course record 62 in the opening round, became only the second Finnish victor on the Asian Tour with a 15-under-par 273 total at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club in Malaysia.

Australia’s Adam Groom was in a tie with Granberg as he started the 18th but blew his chance of a maiden tour win by four-putting the last and had to settle for a share of third place with Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna on 275.

Granberg said the win was more than he had bargained for.

“I thought I had a chance for a top-10 or top-five but now, I’m a winner,” he said.

The Finn, who came through Qualifying School in January, started the final round four off the lead but made a flying start with an eagle at the first from 10 feet before turning in 33.

He sank birdies on the 11th and 14th holes before pulling off what was eventually the clinching birdie at the demanding par three 17th.

“I just played it one shot at a time. I said yesterday that 66 would be okay and now I’m the winner. It’s amazing,” Granberg said.

Overnight leader Panuphol, 18, closed with a 71 to lose out by a shot.

“I had my chances but I didn’t take them,” he said. “The win was there for the taking but I didn’t capitalise.”

But it was Groom who felt sour after a disastrous double bogey at the par five 18th saw him close out an otherwise impressive 68.

The Australian was a picture of poise as he surged into contention by moving to six-under for the round through 17 holes, thanks to an eagle on the first and four birdies.

After narrowly escaping a hazard with a wayward drive on 18, a play-off loomed as he safely hit the green in regulation. But he sent his birdie attempt racing six feet past the cup and took three more putts for a seven.

“I played great all day. I was six-under before the last hole and probably played one of my best rounds in a while. I hit a bad tee shot but the positive part was that I was in contention. I made some money and that will put me in good position on the Order of Merit,” he said.

Sukree Othman of Malaysia provided the local cheers by soaring up the leaderboard with a superb 65 for tied fifth place with Australian Marcus Both (67) and Siddikur of Bangladesh (68) on 276.

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