A total of 31 players successfully earned their playing rights on the Toyota Tour after finishing with total scores of 15-over-par or lower over three days in the second leg of the Toyota Tour qualifying school at the Palm Resort Golf & Country Club.
Meanwhile, Zia Izzuddeen celebrated a come-from-behind victory when he carded a two-under 70 to finish with a three-day aggregate 216, winning by three strokes over overnight leader Tan Yih Heng, amateur Anson Yeo and Shahrul Ikhzuan.
Zia started the day four strokes behind overnight leader Tan. After a one-over 37 for his first nine, an eagle three on the Par 5 16th helped propel Zia on his way to victory. He had 210 metres left and smoked a four-iron onto the green and before sinking the eagle putt from 25 feet.
“This victory will boost my confidence as I compete on the Toyota Tour,” said Zia. “I will be playing three ADT events – in Indonesia, the Selangor Masters and the Toyota Tour Championship in Saujana GCC in November,” shared Zia, who is a golf ambassador for Kelab Golf Seri Selangor.
Incredibly, Zia only started playing golf in 2016 and turned professional last year. Prior to that, his interest was soccer and cycling. He honed his game at the Danau Golf Club. “When I started golf, I pushed myself training and playing 12 hours a day. I’m thankful to the management of KGSS for signing me on and giving me a great opportunity to further develop my game.”
A total of five ladies secured their Tour cards including Ng Jing Xuen who finished at six-over 222. The others were amateurs Pang Hee Jie and Audrey Tan, and professionals Lana Ardini and Qistina Balqis.
Jing Xuen, the individual gold medallist at the Phnom Penh Sea Games, started poorly with consecutive bogeys and a double to show a four-over score after just three holes. She had another bogey on the Par 4 13th but rebounded with an eagle two on the Par 4 15th. Another bogey on the 17th gave her a four-over 76.
“I’m good off the tees but I need to work on my irons and short game,” said Jing Xuen after her round. “Yes, I intend to turn pro but after playing more amateur events this year.”
Tan Yih Wei, older brother of Yih Heng, was one of three players who finished on the cut line of 15-over 231. He started the tournament with a 10-over 82 and followed it up carding a three-over 75 yesterday. It meant he had to play to two-over or better today in order to qualify.
Starting off the back nine, he had two bogeys and two pars to finish even. After crossing over, Tan reeled off two bogeys in a row which meant he was already at plus 15 overall and needed to par home. A birdie on the next gave him some confidence and a stroke in hand but at the par 3 8th, he missed the green but made a decent chip.
“I was so nervous and missed the par putt from four feet,” said Tan. “I then had no choice but to par home, which is what I did. Thankfully,” said Tan.
Tan, who teaches golf in Johore Bahru, had played all seven events on the Toyota Tour so far but made only two cuts. “It’s tough (on Tour), but I’m glad I’ve retained playing rights. I will continue playing the Toyota Tour and try to have fun.”
The Toyota Tour resumes with the Camry Cup at Forest City Golf Resort on Oct 2-5, followed by the Alphard Cup at Kora Seriemas from Oct 17-19.
Leading Final Scores
216 Zia Izzuddeen 75-71-70
219 Anson Yeo (am) 75-73-71; Shahrul Ikhzuan 75-70-74; Tan Yih Heng 71-71-77
221 Hans Jamil 75-69-77; Sheikh Razak (am) 72-75-74; Nasrullah Zulkifli (am) 73-73-75
222 Ng Jing Xuen (am) 73-73-76; Afif Fathi (am) 78-71-73; Rhaasrikanesh (am) 75-72-75
223 Audrey Tan (am) 78-73-72
224 Maveen Kumar 75-73-76; Faisal Sabudin 75-78-71
225 Brandon Lai (am) 76-76-73; Lana Ardini 76-75-74; Al-Warith Damian 77-73-75; Syed Nor Ismail (am) 73-76-76