Asian Tour rookie Micah Lauren Shin of the United States overcame an early two-shot penalty incurred at the opening hole and defeated Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij at the first play-off hole to win the Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday.
Shin was set back by two shots after having discovered he had 15 clubs in his bag. But that mistake along with another bogey on the third hole only spurred the 20-year-old to force his way back into contention.
Shin reignited his charge starting with a birdie on the fourth hole before firing three successive birdies starting from seven. He added another four birdies in his inward-nine to earn a play-off spot with Arnond, who had closed with a five-under-par 67.
The duo were tied at 19-under-par 269 in regulation play.
At the first play-off hole on the par-five 18, Shin gained the early advantage by finding the fairway with his tee shot while Arnond’s landed in the left rough. After getting onto the green in three, Arnond missed his seven-foot birdie putt while Shin made no mistake in sinking his from inside four feet to win his maiden Asian Tour title at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena succumbed to home pressure and could only settle for a share of third place with Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai after they signed for their respective rounds of 67 and 69 at the US$1 million event.
The other sponsors of the Resorts World Manila Masters Presented by Philippine Department of Tourism include Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club (Host venue), Marriott (Hotel Partner) Konami, Scientific Games, Aristocrat, Levelwear, IGT Asia Pte Ldt, Empire Automation, VYCON RGD LTD, PLDT Enterprise, Ecco Golf and Dalmore.
Did you know?
- Michal Lauren Shin was vying to break into the top-60 at the start of the week. He took home US$180,000 to move to 14th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
- Shin is a Korean-American. His grandparents are Americans while his mother is half-American.
- Shin is based in Davao and is the youngest winner of the Resorts World Manila Masters.
- Shin came through Qualifying School in 2017 and has not missed a single cut in 10 starts on Tour so far this season.
- Prior to his victory this week, Shin’s best finish on the Asian Tour was tied-15 place at Queen’s Cup.
- Shin discovered he had an extra hybrid in his bag on the first fairway which led to his two-shot penalty.
- Phachara Khonwatmai is the youngest player to make the cut at the Resorts World Manila Masters. His tied-third finish is his best result ever at the Resorts World Manila Masters.
- Phachara came into prominence when he won the 2015 PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship to become the youngest Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner at the age of 15.
- At 14, Phachara won as an amateur to become the youngest player to win a professional tournament in the world.
- Arnond turned professional in 2011 and claimed his first Asian Tour win in 2012. He regained his card for the 2017 season after coming through the Qualifying School.
- Arnond is nicknamed ‘Bank’ because he was born the night after his mother took her final examinations for her Masters degree in financial banking.
- Arnond endured six consecutive missed cuts in the first half of the season but is slowly regaining form, having made the cuts in his last five starts on Tour.
- Miguel Tabuena continues to be the best-placed Filipino at the Resorts World Manila Masters for the second consecutive year. He finished tied-13th in 2016.
Micah Lauren Shin (Usa), Fourth round 67 (-5), Total 269 (-19): “I haven’t been putting well in the first three rounds but I putted really well today. I got a two-shot penalty on the opening hole for having too many clubs in my bag. But after that, I kept telling myself maybe it needed that penalty to keep me on my toes and focus more. I needed that confidence to get back into position. I focused on every hole and managed to get back into contention. Actually I was very hesitant and trusted my caddie too much and I guess that’s a rookie mistake.”
Arnond Vongvanij (Tha), Fourth round67 (-5), Total 269 (-19): “The week has been very successful despite losing in the play-off. I was more composed than I thought I would be because of a couple of years of not playing well, I’m finally playing well again. This result has pretty much secured my top-60 finish and card for next year. I’m very happy knowing that as when you are playing well, you want to have tournaments to play in too. I’m just happy to be where I’m right now.”
Miguel Tabuena (Phi) Fourth round 69 (-3), Total 270 (-18): “It was a learning experience. My aim today was to content for the trophy and I’m proud of myself that I managed to do that. It’s tougher playing in your home country as there’s lots of expectations and people are cheering for you. And these are people you don’t want to disappoint. But overall, I’m proud of myself and pleased with the way I conducted myself on the golf course.”
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha), Fourth 67 (-5), Total 270 (-18): “I’m very happy with how I played this week despite missing out on several birdie chances today. But that’s golf and I cannot put myself down for too long. It was not meant to be my day today. But as long as I continue to focus and play well, one day that win will come.”
Gavin Green (Mas) – Final Round 68 (-4), Total 273 (-15): “It’s still a good week. I made some putts. I didn’t finish the way I wanted to, especially on my back nine. I felt like I gave a couple away but two birdies in final four holes for a 68 in the final round, I can’t complain. The other guys are playing well. A top-10 finish is always good. There’s always some positives to take away when you finish inside top-10. I had a good couple of weeks playing in the big tournaments but coming back here is nice. Expectations were high. I obviously want to do a lot better. I am looking forward to the next stop in Hong Kong now. This week will definitely help strengthen my lead on the Order of Merit which is good but Phachara’s doing well as well. I think him and S.S.P. Chawrasia are going to close in a little bit after this week. There are still a few more events coming up so I still have to do well and finish strong in those.”
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