Pakhruddin wins on countback in Ho Chi Minh City

HO CHI MINH CITY: Captain Pakhruddin Abdul Majid emerged the champion of the inaugural Malindo Air Saigon Trophy with victory in the grand final here in Vietnam.

Over two days at the 36-hole Tan Son Nhat Golf Club, Pakhruddin finished with a haul of 75 points and win on countback from Capt Arif Zaid.

Pakhruddin, who had scores of 39 on the first day and 36 in the second round, secured the title after playing off handicaps of five and eight, while the runner-up Arif played off 11 on both days. In third place was Capt Eric Chang, who trailed the top-two by a single after the two rounds recently.

"The venue and organisation of the grand final, like the qualifiers, was really very good," said Pakhruddin, who went home with a trophy, RM800 Letz Travel voucher and automatic qualification into this year's event.

"I must say that the two courses we played on at Tan Son Nhat were very nice and challenging, which added a good flavour to the grand final. Of course, I am also happy that I managed to emerge the champion from the event. The field was very strong as the participants were all winners from the respective qualifying legs at home."

For second place Arif won a trophy, picked up a travel voucher worth RM500 and qualification for the tournament this year. Chang's third place reaped similar rewards, only his voucher was worth RM300.

In the Plate Medal Chng Bak Lim, with handicaps of eight and 14 over the two days, clinched the title with a two-point winning margin.

Badli Hamsan, playing off 10 and eight, was second with 72 points, while Mak Tark Chion finished third another point adrift on 71. He played off 1 and 6 over the two rounds.

Beaming with delight at having won the Plate title, Lim said he was pleasantly surprised by the victory and added that he enjoyed the trip as a whole and in particular the golf.

"It was an enjoyable grand final," Lim said. "And of course it was even better by winning it. But it was not easy although I did really enjoy the golf.

"In fact, I think everyone on the Ho Chi Minh trip enjoyed themselves. Everything was well catered for and the hosts were really nice to us. For me it was a memorable grand final and one that I will always remember," he added.

Tan Son Nhat is located near Tan Son Nhat Airport and is about 5km from the centre of Ho Chi Minh. It covers an area of approximately 132ha on which the 36-hole layout and lakes are to be found. The course was designed by Nelson & Haworth Golf Architects, a well-respected name in golf course design.

Results - Grand Final

Finalists Category:
Champion: Capt Pakhruddin Abd Majid 75 OCB
1st Runner-Up: Capt Arif Zaid 75
2nd Runner-Up: Capt Eric Chang 74

Plate Medal Category:
Champion: Chng Bak Lim 74,
1st Runner-Up: Badli Hamsan 72
2nd Runner-Up: Mak Tark Chion 71