Shahriffuddin Ariffin (picture) became only the second player to successfully defend his Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Order of Merit crown in 2018, following in the footsteps of Nicholas Fung, who won it in 2012 and 2013 and who topped that with a third title in 2016.
Shahriffuddin had seasonal earnings of RM176,446 from 22 events, 19 of them on the PGM Tour, where he won once, for a total of RM158,233, the balance derived from other events.
Runner-up was Sukree Othman, who had two wins for seasonal earnings of RM166,118, from 20 PGM Tour events and RM5,302 from one event outside the local circuit. Amir Nazrin Jailani was third, having RM118,728 to his name from 16 local and five other events.
Kim Leun Kwang was fourth with RM111,728 from 19 tournaments, 16 of them local. Veteran R Nachimuthu, inaugural Order of Merit winner in 2011, was fifth, having played in 17 local events for RM104,991 in takings.
In sixth was Wilson Choo with earnings of RM100,087, from 15 tournaments.
The remainder of 2018 men’s Top 20 Order of Merit on the PGM Tour are as follows:
Seventh place: Kenneth De Silva (RM99,798)
Eighth: Kemarol Bahrin (RM91,690)
Ninth: S Sivachandhran (RM85,403)
10th: Mohammad Wafiyuddin (RM84,202)
11th: Arie Irawan Ahmad Fauzi (RM79,877)
12th: Mohd Rizal Amin (RM76,276)
13th: Irfan Yusoff (RM75,584)
14th: M Sasidaran (RM69,512)
15th: Khor Kheng Hwai (RM67,799)
16th: Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz (RM52,541)
17th: Airil Rizman Zahari (RM51,866)
18th: Mohd Nazri Mohd Zain (RM46,819)
19th: Shaifubahri Muda (RM33,004)
20th: Kenneth Tobuse (RM31,855)
In the ladies section (eight players in all), Nur Durriyah Damian, came out tops in her first full season as a pro, winning five of the 10 events she played in and earned RM78,000.
Commenting on her local performance, she said she had reason to be happy, but needed to improve at international level. “I have to practise more,” she said. “I am working on my swing with coach Lim Siew Ai, and also on my fitness.”
She planned to go to China Qualifying School last month and continue playing in Taiwan this year. She had her sights on the European circuit and eventually the premier Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA) Tour.
Nur Durriyah upstaged the previous season’s Order of Merit winner, Ainil Johani Bakar, who was second in the standings with RM64,422 — RM32,500 coming from six PGM Tour events and the rest from 19 events she played elsewhere. Her one win was at the season ending PGM GlobalOne Players’ Championship.
Aretha Pan, a winner for the first time in her pro career when she captured the PGM Sime Darby Closed
in April, was third. She won again in the PGM Northport Championship in July for a total earnings of RM53,500 from eight PGM Tour events.
Diana Loke was fourth with RM42,153 from six PGM Tour events and 15 others. Michelle Koh was fifth with RM33,000, all from seven PGM Tour events. Genevieve Ling played in four and earned a total of RM18,500, followed by Michelle Low (RM8,000) and Norezrina Alisa Che Omar (RM6,500), also from four PGM Tour events each.