YANGON-MYANMAR – Todd Sinnott of Australia pictured with the winner’s trophy during the final round of the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open on Sunday January 29, 2017, at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club, Yangon, Myanmar. The USD$ 750.000 Asian Tour event is co-sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour, January 26 – 29, 2017. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.
Todd Sinnott. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

Asian Tour rookie Todd Sinnott of Australia secured a convincing three-shot victory at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open on Sunday in only his second tournament in Asia.

The 25-year-old Sinnott fired a flawless six-under-par 65 for a winning total of 14-under-par 270 to defeat Carlos Pigem of Spain, who closed with a 68 at the US$750,000 event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

After hitting six balls into the water in the opening two rounds, Sinnott had to fight tooth-and-nail to make the halfway cut. He moved from 40th position to tied fourth after the third day and cruised to victory thanks to six birdies in the final round.

Sinnott was three-under after 12 holes but it was a pair of birdies on 13 and 14 which put him in contention. As his challengers slipped down the leaderboard, he had a comfortable three-shot cushion heading into the last hole where he sealed the deal with a birdie.

“It is a fantastic day to get my first win as a professional,” Sinnot said. “I feel a little bit relieved to get that first win. Excited and pretty proud as well. I’m proud with the way I played today. I birdied two in a row on 13 and 14 and when I did that I knew that if I finish strongly I would have a good chance at winning. I knew where I was the whole day and knew what I had to do to get up with the leaders and keep pushing on. I was really focussed the whole day to try and shoot the lowest score that I could shoot.”

Sinnott earned his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School in Thailand two weeks ago. He shot a final round 10-under-par 62 and was defeated in a play-off to countryman Richard Green. He said the experience in Qualifying School helped him in his Myanmar success.

“Qualifying School was huge for me because I shot 10-under in the last round and lost in a play-off. To actually shoot that number in the last round that gave me a lot of confidence coming into today. The main objective during that week (Qualifying School) was to get my card but I was disappointed not to win after coming close. Losing at Qualifying School hurt a little bit but it proved that I can shoot a low number on the last day.”

Pigem, who won his first Asian Tour title last year, produced three straight birdies after the ninth hole to charge into contention but slipped back when he double bogeyed the 12th hole. A birdie on the last handed him his best finish since winning in Chinese Taipei in July, 2016.

Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines birdied the closing two holes to finish on a 69 after dropping a double bogey on the third hole. He finished in tied third place alongside Koreans K.T. Kim (65) and Sungjae Im (71) on 274 at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Sinnott is the second fastest rookie to win after Chris Rodgers who won the 2006 Pakistan Open. In that same year, Kane Webber also won his first Asian Tour title in only his second event on the region’s premier Tour.
  • Sinnott is the first Asian Tour rookie to win since Danthai Boonma of Thailand won in Singapore in 2015.
  • In total, Sinnott hit seven balls into the water this week – four on the first day, two on the second day and one in the final round where he saved par on the fourth hole. He was 13-under during the weekend and only dropped one shot in the final 36 holes.
  • Sinnott holds the joint course record of 64 at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club with Yusaku Miyazato of Japan. This is also his first appearance in Myanmar.

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