Karmis makes it a wire-to-wire win
Peter Karmis completed a remarkable wire-to-wire victory to claim his first Asian Tour title at the Handa Singapore Classic.
South Afria’s Peter Karmis completed a remarkable wire-to-wire victory to claim his first Asian Tour title at the Handa Singapore Classic on Sunday.
Karmis posted a one-under-par-71 at the Orchid Country Club to finish with a four-day, 21-under-par 267 total that was good enough to give him a two-stroke win over battling compatriot, Jbe Kruger.
Earlier Kruger had reeled him in and was tied for the lead after 10 holes but fell behind after two costly bogeys on holes 13 and 14 for his second runner-up finish this season on the Asian Tour.
Kruger closed with a 69 for a 269 total in this inaugural, US$400,000 full-field Asian Tour event.
Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul (68) signed off with a 270 total to finish in third place, his best placing this season, while Australia’s Scott Hend (67) was two strokes back on 272.
Evergreen Mardan Mamat was the best local performer, finishing in a tie for fifth place with Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin and Korean Young Nam on 273.
“The first thing that comes into my mind is all the privileges that come from winning on the Asian Tour. The rest of my year is pretty much sorted out for this year and the next. It has suddenly changed from wondering if I could get into tournaments to being able to play in all the tournaments,” said Karmis.
Karmis, who earned his Tour card at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in Thailand this year, got off to a slow start after making the turn in an even-par 37 and then carding a bogey on the 10th hole.
But everything changed when he birdied holes 11, 15 and 17 and surged back into the lead..
“I actually hit good iron shots on the front nine, but I missed a couple of short putts. I was hitting the ball well and I would rate today as the best I have hit it so far. But I missed the greens by a fraction and had tricky chips,” said Karmis.
The South African, who endured a sleepless night yesterday, tipped his hat to his resilient compatriot.
“Jbe is a great player. He is a fighter who never gives up ever. When I bogeyed the 10th hole, it was like a wake-up call because I slipped back to tie for the lead. I had to remain focused and I’m glad I came out on top. It feels like a huge burden has lifted off my chest,” said the two-time winner in South Africa.
Kruger, who lost in a play-off to Bangladeshi Siddikur at the Brunei Open in August, had to settle for his second runner-up finish but was gracious in defeat.
“I could have shot more birdies on the front nine but failed to convert my chances. I feel I’m getting closer to victory and overall I’m happy with my performance and happy that Peter (Karmis) won. He played a great tournament,” said Kruger who posted five birdies against two bogeys.
Playing competitively for the sixth week, Mardan made a strong surge up the leaderboard after making the turn in three-under-par 34 but failed to maintain the pace with two closing bogeys.
“It was disappointing to bogey the last two holes but I can take pride that I can still play some great golf at the age of 42! I’m going to take a break from golf for about a week and resume playing competitively in two weeks time,” said the two-time Asian Tour winner.
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