25-year old becomes 1st Vietnamese to win Asian golf title

Thanh Nien News

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Michael Tran poses with his ADT cup in Jakarta on Saturday. Photo courtesy of MT. Michael Tran poses with his ADT cup in Jakarta on Saturday. Photo courtesy of MT.


Vietnamese golfer Michael Tran won the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament, part of the Asian Development Tour, after defeating overnight co-leader Lam Chih Bing of Singapore in the first playoff hole.
At the Damai Indah Golf Course in Jakarta, Tran, who was a shot off the pace heading into the final round Saturday, shot a closing four-under 68 after sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff. Chih Bing bogeyed the hole for a 69.
The duo were tied on 18-under 270 in regulation play before returning to the par-five 18th for the playoff. Tran outplayed the Singaporean with a birdie against a par.
“I was just enjoying it and didn’t think too much about the outcome. It’s my first time here and also my first playoff match,” the 25-year-old said after the match.
Tran, who mixed his card with seven birdies against three bogeys, took home US$17,500 and six Official World Golf Ranking points.
Thailand’s Sutijet Kooratanapisan, the joint overnight leader, was a shot behind in third place with American Jarin Todd after rounds of 70 and 68.
Tran, 25, is the first Vietnamese to win a continent-level title.
He has played the sport since 12, local media reported.
In 2003, as a 13-year old, he went to New Zealand for a two-year training stint.
Players who fail to earn Asian Tour cards play on the Asian Development Tour, with the top five in the Order of Merit at the end of the year earning a card for the following season.

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