Record-breaking Gibson denied at Indonesia PGA

Australian Rhein Gibson’s nervous wait during a rain delay at the Indonesia PGA Champonship was eventually in vain as Japan’s Michio Matsumura birdied the last three holes on the resumption of play to snatch victory by a shot.

The 31-year-old had rounds of 65, 67, 67 and 68 to finish 21-under par to claim the $180,000 first prize at the co-sanctioned OneAsia and Japan Tour event.

Rhein Gibson Rhein Gibson tees off during the OneAsia Indonesia PGA (Credit: Khalid Redza/OneAsia)

Australian Rhein Gibson (62) and Filipino Juvic Pagunsan (69) shared second place worth $87,500 each, while China’s Wu Ashun (69) was alone in fourth.

Matsumura trailed overnight leader Park Sang-hyun by a shot going into the final round but started poorly with a bogey and a double bogey in the first six holes before streaking home with six birdies on the weather-affected back nine.

A three-time winner on the Japan Tour, Matsumura was delighted to win abroad for the first time. “It has been my dream since I became a professional to win a tournament outside Japan,” he said. “It is a great honour to win this title at such a beautiful course.”

Gibson had set the pace earlier in day with a scorching 62 that equalled the course record set by Gaganjeet Bhullar in 2007. The 28-year-old Lismore product is the official world record holder of the lowest ever score by a professional — a 17-under-par 55 in a social round with college friends in Oklahoma — but Sunday’s round was a career best in a sanctioned tournament.

Gibson had an eagle, ten birdies and two bogeys in an astonishing round that was interrupted when he was on the 17th for nearly three hours by a sudden thunderstorm.

“I had some good yardages and just hit it to within a couple of feet,” he said. “I had some really cheap birdies and that’s what really got me going.”

Brett Rumford returns to defend the US$3.2 million Volvo China Open, OneAsia’s next scheduled event, at the Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen from April 24 – 27.