Gillis prevails in play-off to win PGM MIDF Championship

Sat 20 Oct 2018

Gillis prevails in play-off to win PGM MIDF Championship


Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, October 20: American Sam Gillis secured his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title when he prevailed in a play-off at the PGM MIDF Championship on Saturday.

Gillis staged a remarkable comeback when he traded six birdies against two bogeys to card a four-under-par 68 and force a play-off against overnight leader Itthipat Buranatanyarat of Thailand, who returned with a 70 at the RM225,000 (approx. US$58,000) event.

The 23-year-old ADT rookie went head to head with Itthipat after the duo finished on a 14-under-par 274 total at the end of regulation play. Gillis eventually earned the victory on the third play-off hole.

The play-off was held on the par-four 18th hole at the Kota Seriemas Golf and Country Club where the pair would halve the first two extra holes before Gillis triumphed with a birdie on the third extra hole while Itthipat settled for par to take second place.

The American started the day with a two-shot deficit, but he rallied back by firing birdies on holes two and seven before dropping his first shot on the ninth to turn in 35. He grabbed three more birdies and dropped a shot on hole 17 but would chip-in for birdie on the last for an inward 33.

“I knew it was going to be close on the last three holes and when it came down to the last hole I knew I had to chip it in. Itthipat’s second shot was off the green as well and I just chipped it exactly how I wanted to hit the shot and executed it perfectly,” said Gillis.

With his win, Gillis took home six Official World Golf Ranking points and a winner’s prize purse of US$9,494.

“It feels so great to finally win after coming so close a couple of times this season. It is my first professional win so it’s a special one for me.

“On the third extra hole I decided to just play it safe and hit an iron off the tee to keep my ball on the fairway. It worked out well because I hit a good approach to the green and was able to make birdie from there,” added Gillis, who moved up to fourth place on the ADT Order of Merit.

Itthipat, 25, who held the lead for the first three rounds, was disappointed to miss out on an opportunity to win his third victory on the ADT, but he hopes to carry his momentum over to the final two events this season.

“I have no complains about how I played this week. I gave it my best shot but Sam (Gillis) just played a little better. I am so close to a win and there are still two more events so I am going to keep giving it my best,” said Itthipat.

Thailand’s Donlaphatchai Niyomchon posted a 67 to take solo third on 278, while four players take fourth place on 280 including compatriot Poom Pattaropong (71), Japan’s Naoki Sekito (69), Singapore’s Abdul Hadi (70), American Justin De Los Santos (71).

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

Leading final round scores:

274 - Sam GILLIS (USA) 68 70 68 68, Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 67 66 71 70

278 - Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 67 71 73 67

280 - Justin DE LOS SANTOS (USA) 73 68 74 65, Naoki SEKITO (JPN) 69 70 72 69, Abdul Hadi (SGP) 72 65 73 70, Poom PATTAROPONG (THA) 70 69 70 71

281 - Pisitchai THIPPONG (THA) 68 71 73 69


About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading seven players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.