A second-placed finish by American International Underwriters (AIU) in the final leg of the Ericsson Corporate Golf League Hong Kong at Kau Sai Chau's North Course was good enough to secure victory in a tournament it dominated. AIU's gross score of nine-under-par (adjusted to handicap) in a Texas Scramble format resulted in 27 points for an overall total of 163 points - 19 ahead of Northwest Cargo. In all, AIU won three of the six legs of the tournament. Northwest Cargo missed the first event and that proved costly as it won the final leg. The team finished with a gross score of four-under-par for its second victory in only five tournaments but could not mathematically catch AIU. Both teams, along with sides from Ernst & Young/Mees Pierson, the media and Standard Chartered have qualified to play in the regional final of the JBA League in Indonesia from October 17-19 against 20 other teams from four countries. Ross Matthews, president and managing director of AIU and captain of the winning team, said to finish top was unexpected but the players had been using Indonesia as an incentive to secure a top-five finish. 'We probably had the best gross score of any team today and to play well and not win is disappointing but these things happen. We were knocking on everybody's door throughout the tournament and that is what you have to do to be competitive,' he said. Matthews said the AIU team, which included Doug Williams, Steve Marcopoto and Rob Chipman, the dominant player of the league, was looking forward to the regional final and would probably leave early for Bintan Lagoon to get a feel for the layout of the Jack Nicklaus-designed course. 'Only one of our team has played there before and we've been told it is a most challenging layout. I'm sure the teams in Southeast Asia are competitive but we'll be ready and we look forward to representing Hong Kong.' The final leg was played under extreme conditions as temperatures soared to 37? Celsius playing havoc with the 70-man field. Five players succumbed to the heat and did not finish. Francis Lui, Northwest Airline' regional director of cargo, said the dry conditions allowed his team, which included Simon Mak, Ralph Ng and Eric Lee, to take advantage of long fairway drives. 'Everybody on our team played well and they were all consistent but our putting was lousy and we missed quite a few birdie attempts,' he said. 'I'm disappointed we missed the first leg as we were always playing catch-up. 'Every player on our team was a Northwest customer and we were the only team that was 100 per cent Chinese. 'If we had been there from the start we probably would have been the overall winner.' Among the other winners of the event, which was presented by the South China Morning Post, were Doug Williams who won a nine-hole putting contest with 16 putts and also captured the Johnnie Walker nearest-the- pin award on the downhill 168- yard 14th hole. 'Luckily, I wasn't the first guy hitting because I would have hit an eight iron which would have turned out to be too much club. I hit a nine iron, hit it well, and I got the right distance about five or six feet away from the pin. It was my best shot of the day and, of course, I missed the putt,' Williams said. Other prizes went to Claes Rydberg, for the Alfred Dunhill best-dressed golfer award, and to Post staffers Hedley Thomas and Tan Gim Eam who won a cellular phone and a Callaway nine wood in an Ericsson lucky draw and STAR TV longest-drive contest respectively. Tan drove her ball about 175 yards on the 373-yard 17th hole to win the contest which was open to women only. 'It felt really good when I hit it and I reckoned it must have gone about 175 to 200 yards. The conditions were great and the fairways were really dry so it helped me get that long roll,' Tan said. John Burgess, organiser of the JBA leagues, said he was happy with the first year's play in Hong Kong but planned to begin next year's event earlier as several legs had been postponed because of inclement weather. He said his company was organising a global corporate league through the Internet. It would involve about 10,000 teams playing off to a global final of 80 teams. 'The concept is complete and the sponsors identified,' he said.