A short hitter by modern professional standards—he averages just over 270 yards from the tee—Marcus Fraser could never be described as a member of the “bomb-and-gouge” crowd. But no matter. The 37-year-old Australian has long been one of the premier putters on the European Tour, a fact underlined by his play over the closing three holes of the Maybank Championship Malaysia.
Two shots behind leader Soomin Lee, Fraser made a clutch up-and-down for par on the 16th as the young Korean stumbled to a double bogey. One hole later, Fraser made a 12-foot putt for par to stay level with his playing partner. And, after both came up short of the final green, the unassuming Fraser holed from 20 feet for a clinching par as Lee slipped into a tie for second place alongside Miguel Tabuena.
It was the first time Fraser, who earned €439,460 for his third European Tour win, had led alone all week.
“Those last two putts were unbelievable,” said the unlikely champion, who arrived in Kuala Lumpur far from fresh after what he called the “worst three weeks of my career” during the recent Middle East swing. “But all day in the back of my head I felt like I had a chance. Soomin is quite inexperienced, and leading is a big thing. I just kept playing my own game. And I holed a lot of putts over the weekend.”
And at just the right times.