Golf: Simsby clinches weather-shortened Malaysia Open with dramatic play-off victory

Trevor Simsby stormed to victory on the second hole by sinking a four-foot birdie putt, spelling defeat for Dodt who had looked dominant at the start of the tournament. PHOTO: BUSINESS TIMES

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - American Trevor Simsby won a thrilling play-off on Sunday against Australia's Andrew Dodt and compatriot Jarin Todd to clinch victory in the weather-shortened Malaysia Open.

Simsby (two-under-par 70), Dodt (72) and Todd (70) ended their final round with a total of 13-under 203, leading to a sudden-death playoff at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.

Todd was out of contention after the first play-off hole, which saw Simsby and Dodt both make birdies.

Simsby then stormed to victory on the second hole by sinking a four-foot birdie putt, spelling defeat for Dodt who had looked dominant at the start of the tournament.

The American said he was "ecstatic" at the biggest win of his career and his first Asian Tour title.

"The turning point came when I was walking off the 15th hole," said Simsby.

"My caddie was saying we were still in it, and I really didn't think so. And then I birdied the 16th, and I knew we had a chance."

Dodt said it was "disappointing to finish like that, but all in all a solid week and well done to Simsby".

A competitive field saw a trio of golfers including Thailand's Kosuke Hamamoto, Japan's Rikuya Hoshino and South Korean Charlie Wi finish one shot behind the leaders after 18 holes.

The event was reduced to 54 holes from the usual 72 after stormy weather led to play being abandoned on Saturday.

The US$1 million (S$1.38 million) competition has made a return following a four-year absence, even as many sporting events are cancelled worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Singapore golfer Mardan Mamat finished joint-67th with an even-par 216 total. He completed two holes of the third round when play was suspended on Saturday.

He returned to sign for a 73.

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