You’ll see me on the PGA Tour China next year, says Australia’s James Marchesani on taking out the Clearwater Bay Open
The 27-year-old pips England’s Callum Tarren by one stroke, with Hong Kong’s Jason Hak finishing in a tie for sixth
Moments after holing a six-foot putt to take out the Clearwater Bay Open, Australia’s James Marchesani declared his intentions to take part in next year’s PGA Tour China.
After sharing the lead after days two and three, the 27-year-old carded a three-under-par 67 to finish seven under overall and defeat England’s Callum Tarren by one shot.
In the process, he earned himself full membership on next year’s PGA Tour China.
“I believe the China Tour sort of plays midyear which is a gap for our Australasian Tour, so it should work in pretty well where I can play both and sort of swing back and forth and play a full schedule for the entire year,” said Marchesani, who was competing on the PGA Tour China for the first time at Clearwater Bay. “I look forward to coming back up and playing on the China Tour.”
The win was the first of Marchesani’s career and comes after a run of near-misses that included a tie for second at the Fiji International, an event co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour.
He follows in the footsteps of compatriot Daniel Nisbet, who took out last year’s inaugural Clearwater Bay Open.
“I played behind Dan in the pro-am [on Wednesday] and we’d stop between holes and go back and forth about a few ideas and where to hit it and where not to hit it,” Marchesani said. “It was good to get a couple of tips from Dan and maybe something rubbed off.”
After four bogeys on the front nine, Marchesani needed three birdies and an eagle on the back nine to reel in Tarren and eventually overtake him after both players entered the last hole at six under.
“On that front nine I struggled to get the ball close to the hole to make some putts and I dropped a few shots,” he said.
“I knew that I’d played the back nine so well all week and if I kept hitting good shots there would be some birdies out there.
“I made a really good putt on 10, about 18 feet across the slope, and that sort of got me back in the mix.”
After chasing for most of the day, Marchesani was ready to pounce when his opportunity arose on the 18th green.
“It’s always that little bit harder when you know what’s on the line,” said Marchesani, who shot 30 on the back nine.
“I took a few extra deep breaths, stepped up there and hit it on the line and she went in. It’s always good to know what a putt’s worth.”
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After shooting 64 on day three to draw within five shots of the leaders, Hong Kong hope Jason Hak Shun-yat had to settle for a share of sixth place, six shots behind the winner.
He finished with a two-under-par 68, leaving him one under for the tournament.
“My hands were a little tied today, I wasn’t swinging the way I wanted to so I didn’t give myself enough chances,” he said.
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“I took a lot of good positives moving on from this week, especially the last two rounds. Hopefully I will keep that momentum going and do well on my last couple of events [on the China Tour].”
Budding Hong Kong superstar Taichi Kho was the leading amateur with China’s Lin Yuxin, with the 16-year-old carding scores of 72, 72, 71 and 72 to finish seven over.