Australian Travis Smyth finally got the monkey off his back and won his maiden title on the Asian Tour today when he recorded an impressive two-shot victory in the $700,000 Yeangder TPC over the par 72, 7108 yards, Linkou International Golf and Country Club, in Taipei on the Asian Tour
The 27 year-old from Sydney drew on a season of strong performances and near misses to fire his second successive six-under-par 66 for a tournament total of 19 under, with defending champion Lee Chieh-po from Chinese-Taipei finishing runner up after an equally fine 67. Smyth’s tournament rounds this week were 68-69-66-66.
Chinese-Taipei’s Wang Wei-hsuan (67), Nicholas Fung from Malaysia (67), American Berry Henson (68), and Bjorn Hellgren from Sweden (69) tied for third, five behind the winner.
Smyth started the day with a one-shot lead and proved uncatchable after he birdied four out of the first six to make the turn in four under before virtually wrapping things up by making three birdies in a row from the 10th. With a healthy lead the surprise double bogey he made on the 15th, which were his only dropped shots of the day, was not too damaging particularly as he responded with his final birdie of the day on the next.
The victory made up for narrowly failing to win the International Series England in June where he was second – a result that earned him starts on the LIV Golf Invitational series.
"Feels amazing!" said an overjoyed Smyth, who picked up a cheque for $126,000. "I got so close, I felt like I let it go in England and to play some LIV events, feel what it’s like there, I just want to get back. I want to be the player that I believe I can be, and winning this week is one step along the journey."
On the 15th his ball plugged in a bunker, after a big hook with his nine iron, from where he splashed out and three putted to make the closing stages slightly more interesting.
He becomes the 11th first-time winner this season, and first Australian to win the event.
Smyth earned his place on the Asian Tour by finishing joint third at Qualifying School in 2018 and after a number of good results since then, a first victory had been expected soon.
Dubai based Shiv Kapur (Ind) shot a final round two under par 70 for a four round total of 282 with rounds of 64, 74, 74 and 70 to finish in tied 29th place on six under par.
Shiv spoke to Gulf News, "Today’s round was slightly better but not the result I was after. This week showed a lot of promise with a fast start 64 in round one. I have some tidying up of my game to do before next week and hopefully I can build on this week’s positives."
Fellow Dubain MG Keyser (RSA), who represents Jumeirah Golf Estates, finished in tied 26th on 281, seven under par with rounds of 69, 70, 74 and 68.
The Asian Tour stays in Chinese-Taipei next week for the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, which will be played at Taiwan Golf and Country Club, from September 29th to October 2nd.
Both Shiv and MG Keyser are playing next week, Shiv entered as a multiple winner on the Asian Tour and MG as a Category Re-Rank of the eligibility status through the 2022 Order of Merit.