Spain's David Puig claimed his second Asian Tour victory at the US$1 million IRS Prima Malaysian Open after firing his second successive bogey-free nine-under-par 62 for a spectacular tournament total of 23-under and a two-shot win.

On a day of incredibly low scoring at The Mines Resort and Golf Club, in the first event of the season on the Asian Tour, Korean Jeunghun Wang returned a 61 to finish second, while Thailand’s Denwit Boriboonsub came in with the same score to tie for third with John Catlin from the United States, who shot a 66.

As preferred lies were played no records were officially set, including Denwit’s back nine of eight-under-par 28 which matched the Asian Tour record.

As the event is part of The Open Qualifying Series, Puig, Wang, and Denwit have all made it through to The Open at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland, from July 18-21. Only the leading three go through with Catlin denied a place as Denwit’s world ranking is higher.

Said 22-year-old Puig: “It feels great, weird feeling for sure. We almost missed the cut. I was kind of playing good, but I kind of messed up. We finished round two good, and the weekend was just insane man. I mean 18 birdies, no bogeys, in 36 holes was unbelievable. And getting that Open spot is super cool, I came here for that.”

He became the first Spaniard to win the tournament and it was a far closer affair compared to his win at the International Series Singapore last October when he blazed his way to a five-shot triumph.

His name will be engraved on the trophy, named The Seagram Trophy, alongside some giants of the game including Lee Westwood, Vijay Singh, Louis Oosthuizen, and Thongchai Jaidee.

Meanwhile, professional rookie Khavish Varadan emerged as the best Malaysian with a T13 finish on 15-under-par. He wrapped up his professional debut with a displeasing three-under-par 68 as he traded six birdies against three bogeys in the final round.

"I had the start I wanted, but I made some silly bogeys along the way," said the 23-year-old.

"My irons and wedges were probably the worst part of the day. It wasn't my best but at least it was a decent number," Varadan added.

Even so, this week at the Mines Resort and Golf Club proved to be a morale booster for the Malaysian.

"From a personal standpoint, it's good to see that I'm in contention," noted Varadan who was the joint leader at the halfway mark of the Asian Tour event.

"Despite not being at my best, I could still manage my score and bad shots. So, I can start working from there, but of course, there's a lot of work to do," he concluded.

Varadan's compatriots, Ervin Chang and Kim Leun Kwang finished in T52 (-10) and T57 (-9) respectively. 

Left: Malaysia's Khavish Varadan, Right: Thailand's Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantananuwat

Thailand’s Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantananuwat was the top amateur, after signing off with a 66, to end in a tie for 40th. He was the only amateur to make it through to the weekend.

Malaysia’s National Open was also notable for the fact that 17 graduates from last month’s Asian Tour Qualifying School survived the cut as did five players from the top-10 of last year’s ADT Order of Merit – an indication of the increasing number of playing opportunities that the Tour offers.

The Asian Tour sets course for the middle of next week for the US$2 million International Series Oman. The first of 10 International Series events to be played this year – it will be held at Al Mouj Golf from February 22-25. Last year Al Mouj was voted by the Asian Tour membership as the course of the year, along with the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Final Round Scores
Top 10 & Ties
261 (-23) - David Puig (ESP) 66-71-62-62.
263 (-21) - Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 68-68-66-61.
264 (-20) - Denwit Boriboonsub (THA) 71-66-66-61, John Catlin (USA) 65-65-68-66.
265 (-19) - Kevin Yuan (AUS) 65-64-68-68.
266 (-18) - Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 66-67-68-65.
267 (-17) - Deyen Lawson (AUS) 66-67-66-68, Jared Du Toit (CAN) 70-64-62-71.
268 (-16) - Travis Smyth (AUS) 68-66-69-65, Trevor Simsby (USA) 71-65-67-65, Sangmoon Bae (KOR) 70-67-63-68, Steve Lewton (ENG) 65-66-68-69.