Bo romps to victory
American Bo Van Pelt cruised to a stylish six-shot victory at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic on Sunday.
American Bo Van Pelt was laughing all the way to a CIMB Bank after romping to a stylish six-shot victory in the US$6.1 million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia on Sunday.
The 36-year-old Van Pelt bagged his career’s biggest pay cheque of US$1.3 million as he savoured his first title of the season with an accomplished seven-under-par 64 in the final round for a winning total of 23-under-par 261 at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.
Leading by one shot from Jeff Overton at the start of the day, Van Pelt used two birdies on the third and fourth holes to tighten his grip at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia, an event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.
Then, a brilliant burst of three birdies over four holes from the 11th saw him pull six clear as he strolled home to victory in front of large galleries who included the King of Malaysia, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.
Overton stayed with Van Pelt, ranked 39th in the world, through the front nine but bogeys on 12 and 13 after a three-putt and a wayward tee shot forced him to settle for a distant second place with a closing 69.
Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson finished third after a 68 while India’s Jeev Milkha Singh ended as the best Asian in tied 10th place on 271. Malaysia’s Danny Chia, who started the day five shots off the lead, finished equal 13th after closing with a 70.
“I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. I get to do what I love to do for a living,” said a delighted Van Pelt. “It was funny. I got here Tuesday morning, went to the hotel, got showered and then went to the range. My swing felt good right at the first warm up and I kind of continued that all week and had confidence with what I wanted to do with my golf swing.”
After missing on several opportunities to add to his maiden title in the US in 2009, Van Pelt was delighted he earned his rewards by sticking closely to his game plan all week. “I had a chance to win a couple of times this year but it didn’t come out on top. I wanted to do a better job when I was having the lead and I took a lot of satisfaction with the way I played today,” said Van Pelt.
“I’ve watched other guys coming down 18 with a big lead and I thought that would be fun some day if I could do that and it was.”
Overton, who featured in the Ryder Cup for the US team last year, tipped his cap to the new CIMB champion. “That was one of the best rounds of golf I’ve seen,” said Overton, who is still searching for his maiden title.
He conceded his slip-ups on 12 and 13 proved costly. “It was kind of weird. I had a long putt and he had a chip. It was probably my turn and he’s goes ‘well I’ll come up’ and I let him come up and I don’t know for some reason, I started thinking about three putting and I went on to three putt. I got into my own way a little,” said Overton.
“Then I put in a nervous, a bad swing on the next hole. But at the end of the day, the guy, he played one of the best rounds of golf anybody has all year.”
Singh was delighted with his top-10, especially when he is just coming back from a two-week break to rest a sore back. “I played really well the whole week. This is the best I’ve hit the ball in months. Only my putting let me down. If I putted better, I would have finished better. But it is a good week. I’ve shot under-par and improved every day. Hopefully I can move on from here to better results,” said the two-time Asian Tour number one.
“This gives me confidence after coming off an injury. I’ll take that and look forward to the next few weeks,” added the Indian star.
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