Persistent Araki finally earns breakthrough at the PGM MNRB Championship

Sat 15 Sep 2018

Persistent Araki finally earns breakthrough at the PGM MNRB Championship


Sarawak, Malaysia, September 15: Japan’s Yutaka Araki broke into the Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner’s circle for the first time after carding a final round three-under-par 69 at the PGM MNRB Championship on Saturday.

The 38-year-old Araki became the third Japanese to win on the ADT this season following Shohei Hasegawa and Kazuki Higa, to win on a 17-under-par 271 total at the RM225,000 (approx. US$58,000) event.

Local hope Shahriffuddin Ariffin took second place, two shots behind Araki, following a 71, while Japan’s Shinichi Mizuno (65) and Finland’s Janne Kaske (68) share third place on a 275 total at the Damai Golf and Country Club.

Araki, who came through Asian Tour Qualifying School this year, was delighted to finally receive a boost in his underwhelming season where he has only made five cuts in his last ten starts on the ADT and only made one cut on the region’s premier Tour since earning his Asian Tour card.

“It’s such a great feeling and I can’t wait to go back and tell my family that I won! It's been a long couple of years to finally win, on the ADT, just proves all my hard work is coming together,” said the Japanese, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2004.

Playing in the final group for the first time this season, Araki held his nerve to trade four birdies against one bogey and take home a winner’s prize purse US$9,503 and earn six Official World Golf Ranking points (OWGR).

“I started out a little slow in the first nine but finally found some momentum on hole seven when I rolled the putt in for birdie.

"I was pretty nervous on the second nine because I knew I was leading but my caddy helped calm me down. Now that I have won on the ADT my next goal would be to be in the top-seven on the Order of Merit,” said the Japanese, who now sits in 19th place on the money list.  

Ariffin, who was in the lead in the first three rounds, took pride in his second-place finish, which led him to move up to sixth place on the Order of Merit.

“I didn’t do well on the greens this week and luck just wasn’t on my side but overall I am happy with my performance. Now that I am in the top-seven I have my eye on an Asian Tour card and I hope to stay consistent the rest of this season,” added the 18-year-old Malaysian.


Leading final round scores:

271 - Yutaka ARAKI (JPN) 69 69 64 69

273 - Shahriffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS) 64 71 67 71

275 - Shinichi MIZUNO (JPN) 71 69 70 65, Janne KASKE (FIN) 69 70 68 68

276 - Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 69 69 71 67

277 - Wilson CHOO (MAS) 72 71 68 66, Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) 67 75 67 68, Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA) 69 69 70 69, Hamza AMIN (PAK) 69 72 66 70, Justin DE LOS SANTOS (USA) 67 68 68 74

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.