SOUTH AUSTRALIAN golfer Nick Cullen has won his maiden professional title with a one stroke win at the Indonesia Open.
Cullen went into the final round of the event, co-sanctioned by both OneAsia and the Japan Golf Tour, with a four stroke lead and held on to defeat New Zealand’s David Smail.
“This means the world to me,” said Cullen, who will be heading off in July for the 2012 British Open.
On the way to his first professional win the 27-year-old showed great maturity and composure when disaster struck with a triple bogey on the par 4 fourteenth.
Avoiding trouble on 17 and 18 thanks to some exceptional putting Cullen sealed the victory with a nine under par tournament total of 279.
“I have been practicing hard and playing well but I didn’t know what to expect when I came here,” he said. “It is only my second time playing in Asia and it’s very different compared with playing at home particularly with a different climate and food.
“I haven’t holed many putts all week so the last two putts where very timely.”
For his win Cullen took home a cheque for US$172,000 and now leads both the OneAsia and Japan Golf Tour Orders of Merit as the co-sanctioned Indonesian Open acted as each tour’s season opening tournament.
Having turned professional in 2009 Cullen spent a year playing on the Canadian Tour in 2010. A back injury forced Cullen off course for three months early last year before he made his return to the PGA Tour of Australasia in the second half of 2011.
Cullen headed for 2012 British Open
The first quarter of 2012 has seen Cullen achieve much success, as well as this week’s victory the left hander qualified for his first major, The Open Championship, thanks to International Final Qualifying Australasia held at Kingston Heath earlier in the year.
Cullen now heads to Queenstown for the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship which is the final event on the PGA Tour of Australasia before its hiatus over winter.
2012 Indonesian Open Final Results2012 Indonesian Open Final Results