Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 2019-11-24
Aman Raj posts career-best tied second at Asian Tour's Sabah Masters, delivers superb eight-under-63 before bowing out in four-way playoff; Moves up 21 spots to 64 in Asian Tour ranking
Rashid Khan finishes tied fifth, Udayan Mane takes tied 12th
India's Aman Raj posted a career-best tied second finish at the Asian Tour's Sabah Masters on Sunday. The 24-year-old Aman delivered a superb error-free fourth round of eight-under-63 before bowing out in a four-way playoff at the US$300,000 event played in Malaysia.
Aman (68-70-70-63) headed into the playoff along with the Thai duo of Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Phachara Khongwatmai and Australian David Gleeson after the four ended the regulation 72 holes with matching totals of 13-under-271 at the par-71 Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club.
The first playoff hole, which was held on the par-four 18, saw Raj bow out after missing a four-feet par putt while the others made pars.
On the second playoff hole, it was Pavit who sealed the deal with his 15-yard chip-in birdie from the fringe while Phachara and Gleeson missed their chips to settle for pars.
Aman Raj's joint runner-up finish this week helped him improve upon his previous best on the Asian Tour which was fifth at the Panasonic Open India 2018 and tied fifth at the Classic Golf & Country Club Championship 2019.
As a result of his performance at the Sabah Masters, the Indian moved up 21 spots to 64th position in the Asian Tour rankings thus improving his prospects of retaining his card for the next season.
Interestingly, it was the third week in succession that an Indian finished runner-up on the Asian Tour. Two weeks back Shiv Kapur was tied second at the Thailand Open while last week Shiv Kapur and Chikkarangappa were both joint runners-up at the Panasonic Open India.
Aman, who has enjoyed a consistent season on the Asian Tour so far, missing only three cuts in 11 starts, said, "Everything felt like was working in my way. Especially the putting part, because you know I've been hitting it decent saving my pars, but today was all about everything going in. I started with a chip in on the second hole.
"Then again made birdie on the fifth hole and missed on the sixth, made a good par on the sixth actually, then seventh and eighth long putts for birdie. On 10th hole I made birdie from like 10 feet so that was good.
"On the 11th I again had a chance from eight feet, but missed that, so I’m like that was a chance to like “go”. On the 13th I made birdie, that's a good hole to make birdie It is kind of tough. I would say the toughest hole on this golf course. And I've been bogeying it like two days I believe. So yeah, there, that was the game changer.
"I birdied the 15th and 16th and the 17th was a good two-putt from like 30 feet. On the 18th was again a good chip but for par, I tried for the chip-in but at the same time I had to keep my par safe. So, all in all I’m happy with today's round.
"I have been in an amateur play-off once or twice and, like, to be honest I haven't won a play-off. It feels good to be in an Asian Tour play-off, I've never been in a play-off as a professional, so this is the first time.
"Coming to the last I knew that I'm close, but at the same time, you know, I was just like, you know, there are a lot of a lot of people playing right now a lot of holes left, anything can happen. So just try your best, whatever you perform and look for it afterwards."
Rashid Khan (67-70-69-68) produced five birdies and two bogeys in his solid final round of 68 to claim tied fifth place at 10-under-274.
Udayan Mane's last round 71 saw him finish tied 12th at eight-under-276.
Source: Asian Tour