Chan seals the deal in Macau

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Chan Yih-shin won his second Asian Tour title by three shots in the US$750,000 Macau Open on Sunday.

Chan Yih-shin of Chinese Taipei recovered from an opening double bogey to win his second Asian Tour title by three shots in the US$750,000 Macau Open presented by Cityneon on Sunday.

Chan’s tee shot went out-of-bounds for double bogey on the first hole but he rallied with a massive chip in birdie from 40 feet on 12 before closing with two-under-par 69 in blustery conditions at the Macau Golf and Country Club.

He ended his campaign with a winning total of 14-under-par 270 and took home a winner’s cheque of US$118,875 and a two-year exemption on the Asian Tour.

David Gleeson of Australia and Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, both former Macau Open champions, shot matching 66s to finish in second and third place respectively for their first top-10 finish on the Asian Tour this year.

Chan’s victory ended a poor run of form where he has no top-10 finishes since last October. However, he needed to overcome a nervy start where the lead changed hands between him and Mo Joong-kyung of Korea on several occasions.

He was trailing Mo by one shot after the turn but produced a magical run starting from his chip in birdie on 12 before adding crucial birdies on 13, 14 and 16 to cruise home with a wire-to-wire victory as Mo faded.

Mo signed off in tied fourth place after a round of 72 with Zaw Moe of Myanmar and Asian Tour honorary member Jeev Milkha Singh of India, who closed on identical 69s.

“I didn’t know what to think after my double bogey but I kept telling myself to calm down. The pressure was there in the first nine and I felt better only after my chip in birdie,” said Chan, winner of the 2009 King’s Cup in Thailand.

“I didn’t putt very well in the beginning of the year and that was why I didn’t get a good result. This whole week was the best that I’ve putted and I’m glad to be able to come out victorious,” said Chan.

Gleeson eagled the last hole to complete a superb week where he ended a five consecutive run of missed cuts on the Asian Tour. The Australian credited a new set of golf clubs for his return to form, where he has enjoyed very little success in the last two years.

“I was just not comfortable with all my clubs in the last two years. I thought I was getting weaker but it was actually because I had the wrong shafts on my clubs,” said the two-time Asian Tour winner.

“That’s a technical issue and once I felt comfortable with my swing then my game came back to me again,” he added.

Thaworn, the 2009 Macau Open champion, turned in a superb 30 highlighted by an eagle three on the second hole after his seven wood from 240 yards landed nine feet from the pin. However, he failed to maintain his title charge as his putter went cold.

“It would have been my week again if my putter worked in the back nine. Obviously I’m disappointed but it is my best result this year and I hope to continue my form in the coming weeks,” said Thaworn, a 12-time Asian Tour champion.

The Macau Open presented by Cityneon was delayed for approximately one hour 45 minutes due to lightning threats.

The Macau Open has been a regular fixture on the Asian Tour calendar and has previously attracted some of the world’s best players. The tournament has been won by many world stars, including Lee Westwood of England (1999) and Colin Montgomerie of Scotland (2003).

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