Australia’s Marcus Fraser held his nerve down the stretch to win the Maybank Championship Malaysia by two shots from Soomin Lee of South Korea.
Marcus Fraser was two back of Soomin Lee with just three holes to play at Royal Selangor in Kuala Lumpur. But when Lee double-bogeyed the 16th, the pair were level. Fraser then holed a brilliant, 10-foot par putt on the 17th to stay on terms with the young South Korean.
On the final hole, both men left themselves testing par putts and when Lee missed, Fraser had his chance. From 20 feet, the 37-year-old rolled it home to claim his third European Tour title.
“The last two putts were pretty unbelievable,” he said. “I was nervous on 17, then on the last I don’t know how I held on to the putter. I made contact, started it somewhere near where I wanted and it went in the hole. I’m gobsmacked.”
Tech Talk – Titleist 816 hybrids:
3 Talking points from the Maybank Championship Malaysia
1 – This was Marcus Fraser’s first European Tour title since he won the Ballantines Championship in 2010. It’s his third win on the circuit as he also enjoyed success in the 2003 BMW Russian Open.
The victory marks quite a turnaround for the Aussie. Until this event he’d been struggling through the early season. He missed cuts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and had earned less than €10,000. With the win he is now exempt on the European Tour to the end of 2018 and could move into the top-60 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“I got to the Middle East and I think it was the three worst weeks of golf I’ve played in my career,” he said. “I had some good practice when I went home, went back to absolute basics and tried to sort things out from the start and everything just fell into place as the week went on.”
2 – Soomin Lee will have been disappointed to miss out on the victory but the 22-year-old looks a promising talent. This was just a second ever start on the European Tour for the youngster and he has proven he has the ability to compete at the very highest level. This tie for second place goes alongside the tie for third he recorded in the UBS Hong Kong Open last October.
3 – Richard Bland continued his consistent season. The 43-year-old has made nine straight cuts on the European Tour, a run stretching back to the Dunhill Links Championship last season. The Englishman has now played 378 events on the European Tour over an 18-year period. He is yet to secure a victory. He still has time though – Malcolm MacKenzie claimed his first European Tour title in his 509th start, the French Open of 2002.
Maybank Championship Malaysia
Royal Selangor GC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Purse €2,600,000, par 71
1 Marcus Fraser (Aus) 66 69 66 68 269 €439,460
T2 Soomin Lee (Kor) 66 68 64 73 271 €229,016
T2 Miguel Tabuena (Phi) 66 68 69 68 271 €229,016
T4 Jorge Campillo (Esp) 65 69 69 69 272 €121,818
T4 Julien Quesne (Fra) 70 69 65 68 272 €121,818
T6 Richard Bland (Eng) 66 65 73 69 273 €85,695
T6 Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 70 69 65 69 273 €85,695
T8 Nathan Holman (Aus) 64 65 73 72 274 €65,919
T9 Rahil Gangjee (Ind) 68 72 67 68 275 €53,438
T9 Masahiro Kawamura (Jap) 66 70 67 72 275 €53,438
T9 Peter Uihlein (USA) 65 75 69 66 275 €53,438
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage