The 27-year-old had a nervy start as he dropped two shots on his opening nine holes. However, he recovered when it mattered most, scoring birdies on holes 11, 13 and 14 before holding on for his maiden Asian Tour victory on a 16-under-par 272 total at the St Andrews Golf Club in Henan, China.
“My goal is to win on the Asian Tour and to accomplish that this week is huge. I have to start booking my flights! Knowing that I’m eligible for the events takes a lot of pressure off.
This victory validates all the hard work that I’ve put in since missing the cut in Manila in 2016. Winning on the ADT (Asian Development Tour) is nice, but the main Tour is a step up and as we all know, this is the main Tour on the continent. So, to be able to get into the winners’ category on the Asian Tour is huge”, said Catlin.
Catlin, a two-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) who has earned his Asian Tour card by finishing third on the ADT merit list, took home a winner’s purse of US$54,000. He has risen from 44th to 20th place on the Habitat for Humanity Standings.
Thailand’s Natipong Srithong (66) and Australia’s Adam Blyth (70) share second place, two shots behind Catlin. Natipong shot six birdies during his flawless round, but it was a case of too little, too late. Blyth rued his bogey at the 10th, which took away his momentum in his chase for the title.
Shohei Hasegawa of Japan finished in lone fourth after carding a 69. Andrew Martin of Australia and Miguel Carballo of Argentina share fifth place, while Canada’s Justin Shin was a further shot behind in lone seventh place.
Huang Wenyi flew the flag for China, as he ended his tournament with a 71 for a 279 total. He finished in tied-eighth along with Australia’s Josh Younger.
The Asia Pacific Classic is the Asian Tour’s second stop in China this season. The tournament is part of the Asian Tour’s strategic partnership with the China Golf Association where the goal is to grow and develop professional golf in the region.