KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - American Ryan Moore won the CIMB Classic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on Sunday, successfully defending the title he won last year.
Moore started the final day tied for the lead with countryman Kevin Na but finished three shots clear of the field at 17-under-par after closing with a 67.
His final round featured eight birdies and although he also made three bogeys, the 31-year-old held his composure to claim his fourth career PGA Tour and second Asian Tour title.
“It was incredible to finish the way I did,” he told a news conference.
“Coming down to the last few holes, I like to tell myself all the time that I‘m a closer. That’s what I play golf for.”
“It’s been a great week, I‘m a little bit lost for words,” Moore said in a televised interview. “To come back and defend a title, it’s something I’ve never before.”
Spain’s Sergio Garcia, the highest-ranked player in the field at fourth in the world, drained a long par putt on the final hole to finish with a 69 in a three-way tie for second.
He made three birdies on the front nine but lost his chance with a double bogey on the par-five 10th.
“I just had a really bad break on 10, hit my tee shot a little left and hit the cart path, and the ball kind of disappeared,” Garcia said.
“That one kind of put me off a little bit. I had to do something really, really extremely good coming in, and there were some tough holes.”
Na birdied three of his first four holes to lead by two strokes and was still one shot ahead after when things fell apart.
He dropped a shot at the 13th then double-bogeyed the 17th when his ball lodged into the top of a palm tree before rebounding with a birdie at the last and sign for a 70, joining Garcia and Gary Woodland at 14-under.
”It was my tournament, I thought,“ said Na. ”But Ryan played fantastic. Hats off to him, he deserves it.
“It’s disappointing when you know you had the lead and it’s yours but Ryan did step it up in the end. Good for him.”
Woodland, who lost a Monday playoff to Moore in last year’s tournament, carded a 67 but missed his chance to finish outright second when he bogeyed the last.
Australia’s Cameron Smith and Bae Sang-moon of South Korea finished tied for fifth at minus 12, one shot ahead of Australia’s John Senden.
Davis Love III was among a group of players who ended on 11-under while former world number one Lee Westwood signed for nine-under and 2012 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel eight-under.
Writing by Julian Linden in Singapore; editing by Sudipto Ganguly