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Macpherson Edged In China, Kennedy Strong In Japan

Bryden Macpherson came agonisingly close to winning in China (Photo: Bruce Young)
Bryden Macpherson came agonisingly close to victory at the final China Tour event of the season but eventually fell in extra holes while Brad Kennedy also finished the Japan Tour season strong with a top 10 finish in Tokyo.

Macpherson, a contender for the China Tour Order of Merit all season, lost to a birdie at the second extra hole of the Asian Tour co-sanctioned Asian Golf Championship in China, Kennedy T8 behind runaway winner Yusaku Miyazato at the JT Cup in Japan.

In one of the highest scoring events of the year, Macpherson began the final round at even par and five behind fellow Australian Marcus Both but as Both battled to a 5-over 77 Macpherson’s 3-under 69 saw him finish regulation tied with China’s Bowen Xiao.

The pair went back to the 18th tee at the Kaikou Golf Club in Xiamen, China, where Macpherson dodged a bullet when Xiao missed a five foot birdie putt for the win.

However, Xiao wasn’t to be denied as he hit his approach even closer the second time around and duly holed out for victory.

“I played really well. It was a tough golf course.,” said a philosophical Macpherson after the round.

“I didn’t hit any bad shots, apart from a few earlier in the tournament. That happens but today, I played really well to put myself into contention.

“Xiao played really well in the two playoff holes. I don’t mind losing to good golf and he played some really good golf.”

It was a double disappointment for Macpherson who ultimately finished approximately AU$160 shy of winning the China Tour Order of Merit.

Macpherson and Korea’s Rak Hyun Cho were neck and neck all season but when Cho missed the cut it became mathematically possible for Macpherson to claim the title with a victory.

“Today, I hit a bad shot on the 14th. Aside from that, I played great. I gave myself every opportunity and unfortunately sometimes, things just don’t go your way,” Macpherson said.

“During the play-off, nothing was in my mind. I just wanted to play golf. I didn’t hit my approach shots as well as I’d like to, but it happens. It is part of golf.”

Kennedy also finished his 2017 strong with a personal best finish at the season ending Nippon Series JT Cup.

After sharing the first-round lead Kennedy stumbled on day two with a 2-over 72 but played decent golf over the weekend with rounds of 68-70 to be 4-under for the week.

That was good for a share of eighth, his best finish in four appearances at the event, though 11 shots behind the winner.

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