Way to go, Shah!

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Shahriffuddin Ariffin (pic) secured his first top-10 on the Asian Tour after finishing tied-eighth in the Singapore International.

The 23-year-old, making only his ninth Tour appearance, bettered his previous best of a tied-31st at the Sarawak Championship in 2018.

Shahriffuddin, who started the day at the Tanah Merah Country Club in joint-19th yesterday, finished the week with a two-under 70 and a total of four-over 294.

His effort netted him a well-deserved US$19,600 (RM81,900) paycheque – the biggest prize money that he had pocketed.

Shahriffuddin birdied the first, fifth and 18th holes but bogeyed the 17th to finish in an eight-way tie for eighth that included 2019 Order of Merit champion Jazz Janewattananond.

“I’m very, very happy with the result. Frankly, I did not expect a top-10 finish,” said Shahriffuddin, a one-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner.

“Considering this tournament was only my first international in nearly two years, I just wanted to make the cut.

“I stayed patient and played it safe throughout the final round by trying to go for par on every hole.

“It worked well and I was rewarded with a first under-par round for the week.”

Shahriffuddin hopes to carry the fine momentum into the Singapore Open, which begins on Thursday, as he seeks to cap a memorable trip in the City state.

With his limited status for the Tour, Shahriffuddin’s participation in the US$1.25mil (RM5.22mil) event wasn’t confirmed until earlier this week.

“This result has given me the assurance that I do have the game to play at the elite stage,” said Shahriffuddin. “I want to prove myself again by registering another good result in the Singapore Open next.”

Veteran Danny Chia closed with an even-par 72 to emerge as the second-best Malaysian performer in tied-24th on seven-over 295.

Gavin Green finally came good on the final day with a 70 to tie for 33rd on 296 alongside Amir Nazrin Jailani.

The inaugural tournament was won by South Korea’s Kim Joo-hyung after he birdied the first playoff hole to beat Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan to the title and a US$180,000 (RM751,800) jackpot.

The pair had earlier finished the regulation play on matching four-under 284s. Leading final round scores284: Kim Joo-hyung (Kor) 72-73-69-70, Rattanon Wannasrichan (Tha) 73-66-73-72;

286: Ratchanon Chantananuwat (Tha) 75-66-76-69;

288: Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha) 71-75-74-68;

289: Kosuke Hamoto (Tha) 74-75-69-71, Paul Peterson (US) 70-73-76-70;

291: Bio Kim (Kor) 72-77-72-70;

292: Shahriffuddin Ariffin (Mas) 73-75-74-70, Chan Shih-chang (Tpe) 71-77-71-73; Harrold William (Eng) 69-78-75-70, Jazz Janewattanond (Tha) 71-73-76-72; Khalin Joshi (Ind) 67-74-75-76, Steve Lewton (Eng) 73-75-73-71, Donlaphathchai Niyomchon (Tha) 75-73-69-75, Wade Ormsby (Aus).

Selected: 295: Danny Chia 73-75-75-72; 296: Gavin Green 76-74-76-70, Amir Nazrin Jailani 76-73-76-71; 300: Ben Leong 74-75-73-78; 304: Nicholas Fung 75-76-78-73, Kim Leun Kwang 79-71-75-79, Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz 76-75-73-80.