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Bana Hills Golf Club Danang Gc Laguna Bana Hills GC 1 3 7 8 9 10

ROOKIE FUNG CLAIMS VIETNAM MASTERS CROWN


HO CHI MINH CITY
- Malaysian Nicholas Fung won the battle of the young pretenders on Saturday in the final of the Vietnam Masters matchplay tournament.  The 20-year-old saw off 17-year-old Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand 4 and 3 at the Song Be Golf Resort in Ho Chi Minh City, earning a cheque for 14,000 dollars. The win takes Fung -- in his rookie season as a professional -- to third place on the Mercedes-Benz Tour Order of Merit with winnings of 21,373 dollars.

The top six qualify for November's Singapore Open, and Fung looks to have done enough to secure his place at the Sentosa Golf Club.

Fung claimed the Vietnam Amateur tournament when he was 17 and said he was delighted with Saturday's win.

"It's my first victory. I am so happy. I was a little nervous on the first nine but calmed down on the back," he said.

"I kept my ball in play really well this week which was key. I had two really tough matches on the first day so it's hard to believe I am standing here now as winner."

Fung was one down after six holes of the final, but claimed the next three to stand two up at the turn, and after he secured the 10th and 12th, the trophy was all but his.

Panuphol -- with his 48-year-old father Chinnawat caddying for him -- walked off with a cheque for 8,000 dollars for what was his fifth runner-up spot of the season.

"I think I tried a little bit too hard today. I am very disappointed but I have learned a lot and at the start of the week was not even thinking of making the final," he said Panuphol.

Nicknamed Coconut because of his baby face, the talented Thai was unable to crack Fung but after another strong showing at such a young age looks on course for an exciting future.

The third and fourth place playoff saw Wisut Artjanawat from Thailand beat Filipino Rey Pagunsan on the first extra hole.

channelnewsasia