Australian Bleumink claims career’s first win at PGM Johor Masters

Johor Bahru: Luke Bleumink of Australia fired a one-under-par 71 to win his first career title at the PGM Johor Masters on Saturday.

The 26-year-old, who shared the overnight lead with Hirotaro Naito of Japan, held on for a winning total of seven-under-par 281 at the RM180,000 (approximately US$60,000) Asian Development Tour event

Naito struggled with a 73 to finish in lone second place, two shots from the champion while Grant Jackson of England claimed third place at the Johor Country Club.

“Obviously, I’m happy to win my first professional title. It was a pretty solid week for me but I didn’t drive the ball as well as I would like to. My putting pulled my game up and I’m glad I hung in there for the win,” said Bleumink, who turned professional in 2010.

Bleumink made a flying start with two straight birdies before dropping shots on holes five and eight but it was a pivotal 12-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole which sealed the victory.

“That was definitely the turning point for me because it kept me in the game,” added the Australian, who won US$10,465.

After finishing outside the top-40 of the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier this year, Bleumink is now determined to earn his 2013 Tour card by finishing in the top three of the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season.

“Well the goal now is to keep winning,” he smiled. “This win sets me up nicely for the year ahead. It also shows that I can play well under pressure and the experience will be important for the rest of the season.”

Rizal Amin finished as the best local player in tied fourth place with Will Yanagisawa of the United States on a 285 total.

Leading final round scores

281 - Luke BLEUMINK (Aus) 70-72-68-71
283 - Hirotaro NAITO (Jpn) 75            -69-66-73
284 - Grant JACKSON (Eng) 71-69-72-72
285 - Rizal AMIN (Mas) 74-71-69-71, Will YANAGISAWA (USA) 73-70-69-73
286 - R. Nachimuthu (Mas) 71-71-74-70, Masaki SAKATA (Jpn) 70-72-74-70, Mohd Hafiy (Mas) 73-72-70-71
287 - WANG Tsung-chieh (Tpe) 72-68-75-72, Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (Tha) 72-76-67-72, Senroku ISA (Jpn) 73-69-73-72, Rick GIBSON           (Can) 75-71-69-72
288 - Charles HONG (Phi) 72-71-72-73, PARK Jin-Woo (Kor) 74-73-68-73, HUANG Tao (Tpe) 67-72-73-76
289 - Michael BIBAT (Phi) 70-72-74-73
290 - Peter RICHARDSON (Eng) 72-72-75-71