March 17, 2012
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SIEM REAP, Cambodia -- After carding an incredible 7-under 65 in the final round, Asian Tour rookie and 2011 Northwestern graduate David Lipsky produced a superb chip-in birdie to defeat Elmer Salvador of the Philippines on the first play-off hole of the inaugural HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic on Saturday.
The 23-year-old, who won the Asian Tour's Qualifying School in January but missed the cut in his first two professional events, enjoyed his maiden professional victory in front of six-time Major champion Nick Faldo, who watched the shootout at the impressive Angkor Golf Resort, a course he designed.
Starting the day seven shots off the lead, Lipsky closed with a stunning seven-under-par 65 for a 15-under-par 273 total. A gritty Salvador had a 10-foot birdie putt at the last hole in regulation play for the outright win but he missed for a 68.
It was a frenetic final day with six players tied for the lead at one stage before Lipsky and Salvador, who also lost in a play-off at last year's ISPS Handa Singapore Classic, edged ahead of the pack.
"I really can't believe I'm here right now," said a jubilant Lipsky, who earned a priceless winner's exemption on the Asian Tour till the end of 2014 and who now currently ranks eighth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit money list.
"The chip-in was unbelievable. I practice my short game pretty hard and I thought I had a chance to make it. It was one of those makeable ones up the hill. Just tried to give it a good strike and see what happens," added Lipsky.
Before the play-off, the pivotal moment for Lipsky came at the 15th hole. "I won Q-school and I knew I had the game in me. I'm happy it showed up here. On 15, I saw that everyone was bunched on 13-under. I had a 50 foot putt (for birdie) and I jarred it and thought I could have a chance to win," said Lipsky, who went on to birdie the 16th hole to pull ahead of the pack.
"This is phenomenal as it opens up so many doors for me," Lipsky said. "Apparently, I'm in the winner's category now and I didn't know what that meant. I guess I'll find out."
Fellow competitors and former teammates took to Twitter to comment on Lipsky's win. Colleague James Byrne tweeted "Unbelievable. Best short game out here" about Lipsky's birdie, which caused Northwestern head coach Pat Goss to chime in with "NU style!"
While Lipsky was completing his victory in Cambodia, the Northwestern men's team was just landing in Los Angeles for the beginning of their spring break, where they will play Riviera, Bel Air CC and Los Angeles CC.
Lipsky's victory also was the second for a former Wildcat turned professional. Dillon Dougherty, who finished as the U.S. Amateur runner-up and competed in the Masters while still enrolled at Northwestern, fired a 19-under par tournament to win on the National Pro Golf Tour circuit Saturday.
Information from asiantour.com was used in this release.
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