Bali, Indonesia, October 14: Wolmer Murillo of Venezuela survived a five-way play-off to win his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the US$100,000 Combiphar Players Championship on Saturday.
The 36-year-old Murillo was the last man standing against Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun, South African Mathiam Keyser, American John Catlin and William Harrold of England after they were all tied on seven-under-par 277 in regulation play at the New Kuta Golf, Bali.
The decisive play-off, which was played only on the par-four ninth hole, saw Catlin, Harrold and Keyser bow out on the first extra hole after making bogeys while Wang and Murillo settled for pars.
The duo then went the extra distance before Murillo sealed the deal with a six-foot birdie putt on the fourth extra hole to defeat Wang, who parred the same hole. They had earlier bogeyed the second extra hole and parred the third.
Murillo, who held the overnight lead by one, traded one birdie against two bogeys to turn in 36. He added two more birdies on 10 and 13 but an errant tee shot saw him rue a costly double-bogey on 17.
The Venezuelan, however, bounced back brilliantly with a seven-feet birdie putt on the last to close with an even-par 71 and ensure a spot in the play-off.
“I didn’t even know I was going into a play-off. After I made the double-bogey on 17, I thought I should try and birdie the last to grab the second place. I just kept it going out there and stick to my own rhythm. I didn’t really feel way nervous. I just stayed focused and kept my composure.
“I felt really comfortable with my second shots. I was able to hit it close today. I hit a good approach shot to about seven-feet on the 18th hole and made the putt for birdie to get into the play-off. I was able to hit it close on the third and fourth playoff holes as well. I took my chances,” said Murillo.
Murillo took home the winner’s prize purse of US$17,500 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. He also propelled to 11th place on the ADT Order of Merit, led by Masaru Takahashi of Japan, who signed for a 70 to end his campaign in tied-sixth position.
“This win means everything to me. It’s my first win since coming to Asia in 2013. It took me more than four years to win. It’s really special because the ADT is where I began my career after moving to Asia. It has been a great week here in Bali,” Murillo added.
With this victory, Murillo became the first Venezuelan to win on the region’s secondary circuit, which was inaugurated in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour.
One-time ADT winner George Gandranata emerged as the highest-placed Indonesian after carding a 67 to tie in ninth place on 281.
The Combiphar Players Championship is the 14th leg of the ADT schedule and also the Tour’s second stop in Indonesia this season.
The leading five players on the final Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn their Asian Tour cards for the 2018 season.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading final round scores:
277 - Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 71 69 66 71, WANG Wei-lun (TWN) 73 68 69 67, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 70 67 72 68, John CATLIN (USA) 72 67 70 68, William HARROLD (ENG) 71 71 67 68
278 - Michael BIBAT (PHI) 71 70 69 68, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 70 70 68 70
279 - Steve LEWTON (ENG) 69 68 72 70
281 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 73 71 70 67, Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) 69 75 67 70
282 - Wisut ARTJANAWAT (THA) 73 71 69 69, Arie Irawan (MAS) 71 70 68 73
283 - Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 76 68 71 68, Danny MASRIN (INA) 74 70 69 70, Paul HARRIS (USA) 73 67 67 76
284 - Jay BAYRON (PHI) 74 70 68 72
285 - Benita KASIADI (INA) 73 68 73 71, Phanuvich ONCHU (THA) 73 72 68 72, Pitipat PITIMANA-ARE (THA) 70 71 69 75
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 Web.com 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 five 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.