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Kang ends eight-year victory drought

AMERICAN Anthony Kang ended his eight-year title drought by getting a birdie on the final hole to win the Malaysian Open by one stroke yesterday.

Kang's five-under 67 in the final round gave him a four-round total of 17-under 271, putting him a shot in front of four players: England's David Horsey (64) and Miles Tunnicliff (68), Thai Prayad Marksaeng (68) and India's Jyoti Randhawa (66) in the jointly-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event.

Victory at the US$2 million event ended a long wait for 36-year-old Korean-born Kang, who has lived in the US since age 10. His previous wins were at the 1999 Philippine Open and the 2001 Myanmar Open.

"I actually dreamt last night that I won the tournament but I have those sorts of dreams quite often," said Kang. "It feels great to have beaten a strong field here. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but it is an amazing feeling."

Kang moved to the top of the leaderboard with birdies at the sixth and eighth holes of the Saujana Golf and Country Club course outside Kuala Lumpur, but fell back into a shared lead when he bogeyed the 15th after finding the water.

Head down

On the par-five 18th, Kang reached the green in two and safely two-putted to claim the title, with playing partner Prayad missing his long birdie attempt.

"In the last three rounds I only made one bogey," Kang said. "After I hit into the water on 15, I told myself let's try to finish this off with a bogey and not to put my head down."

Prayad was in a winning position but three-putted the 16th for bogey and cost himself a chance at the final hole with a wayward drive.

"I knew I needed to make birdie but hooked my drive and the ball ended up in the bunker and all I could do was wedge it out," he said.

Randhawa had a 50-foot attempt at eagle on the last, but had to settle for second.

Horsey was the clubhouse leader after his impressive last round in which he shot 29 on the backward nine.

Overnight leader Adam Blyth of Australia had a 73 in the final round to finish outright 10th along with China's Liang Wenchong (71) and two others.

Malaysia's wait for its first home winner continues after Danny Chia (71) ended equal 11th.


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