Australian Andrew Dodt defeated Richard T. Lee of Canada on the first extra hole after sinking a two-foot birdie putt to win his third Asian Tour title and first in four years at the US$300,000 Sarawak Championship on Sunday.
The 33-year-old Dodt, who is playing in his first event since suffering a two-month injury layoff in April, was left to endure an agonizing wait in the clubhouse after closing with a flawless eight-under-par 64 at the Damai Golf and Country Club.
Knowing that he needed an eagle on the last to force extra time with Dodt, Lee opted for an aggressive style of play as he hit a three-wood off the deck from about 275 yards to eight-feet and made the eagle putt to sign for a closing 66. It was a sensational finish for Lee as he had to hit a big draw around the trees to get to the green on 18.
The duo, who were tied on 24-under-par 264 in regulation play, returned to the 517-yard par-five 18th for the sudden-death playoff where both found the middle of the fairway with their tee shots. Dodt laid up to about 75 yards from the pin while Lee decided to go for the green.
The 28-year-old Lee got lucky as his ball hit the cart path and bounced back to about 25 yards right of the green in the rough. He then chipped to 12 feet but his birdie putt would eventually lipped out and it was Dodt who sealed the deal after sticking his approach to two-feet.
Dodt won the 2010 Avantha Masters and the True Thailand Classic in 2015 but a bulging disc in his back has hampered him recently.
American Micah Lauren Shin missed a 20-feet birdie putt on the last to force his way into the play-off as he signed for a 65 to finish in third place on 265 in the full-field event, which celebrated its second straight edition on the Asian Tour this week.
Dodt picked up $US 54,000 for the win.
"I started my career on the Asian Tour," said Dodt. "It’s nice to win on Tour again. It feels very rewarding. I’ve been playing great at home and I transformed that form at home into this week. It’s great to be holding the trophy. I’m over the moon.
"I had a two-month injury layoff in April. It’s probably a good reset, gave myself a break and get the love of the game again. We had our first baby almost 10 months ago, so I got to spend some quality time with her. This means a lot, I’m a proud Aussie and I love my golf. To win is extra special.
"Knowing I had to get in the play-off was hard because I probably didn’t expect Richard to make eagle with a three-wood in regulation, but golf is a funny game and you have to expect the unexpected.
"I will have to sit down and reassess my schedule now but I’m loving my golf, I just want to keep playing. I’m playing well, I feel like my game is in a good place, my head’s in a good place. Just keep the foot down."<image="x" align="left" />