Lahiri edges Wiesberger to claim Malaysian Open title

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ( - Anirban Lahiri made a clutch birdie putt from off the green on No. 17 in Sunday's final round and that proved to be the difference as he outlasted Bernd Wiesberger to win the Maybank Malaysian Open by one shot.

Lahiri, who matched the course record in Saturday's third round with a 62, carded a 4-under 68 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club and he finished one shot better than Wiesberger at 16-under-par 272. The win is the first of Lahiri's career on the European Tour.

"I don't think it's sunk in just yet," said Lahiri. "But I'm pretty sure when it hits home it's going to be a really happy moment for me. I think I've got a bad habit of making it hard on myself, but I'm happy I got over the line, as ugly as it was towards the end."

Wiesberger, the third-round leader, held a 5-shot lead early on in the final round, but the strong play of Lahiri combined with a lack of birdies down the stretch saw Wiesberger finish runner-up at the end of the day. Wiesberger shot a 2-over 74 to end at 15-under 273.

Alejandro Canizares, who was the second-round co-leader with defending champion Lee Westwood, also shot a 74 and he finished tied for third with Paul Waring (73) at 13-under 275.

Westwood, who also held a share of the first-round lead, struggled early on and never recovered as his 3-over 75 dropped him into a tie for fifth at 11- under 277 with Gregory Bourdy (69), Richard T. Lee (71) and Paul Peterson (72).

Entering the day with a 2-shot lead over Canizares and five shots up on Lahiri, Wiesberger moved five clear of Canizares with birdies on his first two holes combined with a Canizares bogey on No. 2.

However, Lahiri got off to a hot start of his own when he birdied four of his first five, getting him to minus-16. Following a pair of pars on three and four, Wiesberger's lead was cut to one when he made a mess of the par-5 fifth, resulting in a double-bogey.

Wiesberger's lead was later extended back to two shots when Lahiri made his first bogey on No. 9, dropping him back to minus-15. That did not phase Lahiri as he responded right away with a birdie on No. 10, getting him back to within one.

Another Lahiri bogey on the par-4 13th moved him two back once again, but after making six straight pars from six, Wiesberger also tripped to a bogey at the 12th, keeping his advantage at one.

Two holes later, Wiesberger made another bogey on 14 and just like that he was tied for the lead with Lahiri at 15-under heading to the final few holes.

After a trio of pars from 14, Lahiri sank perhaps the biggest putt of his career. Lahiri's second shot on the par-4 17th settled just off the green and a long way from the cup. The 27-year-old from India stayed calm and sank the long birdie effort to take the outright lead at 16-under.

Wiesberger, playing in the final group with Lahiri in the group just ahead of him, came through in a big way with a birdie of his own on No. 16 to tie the lead again, but a huge bogey on 17 dropped him back a shot.

After watching Lahiri sink a 6-foot par putt at the last, Wiesberger left himself about 20 feet for a tying birdie. It was not to be for the 29-year- old, however, as he missed the putt and settled for par and a runner-up finish, giving the title to Lahiri.

"It hasn't quite finished the way I intended to," Wiesberger admitted. "After the hiccup on five, I didn't hit it anywhere near as good as the last 15 rounds. It's tough to say, but it is what it is and unfortunately I beat myself out of it today."

Canizares did not do himself any favors as he made six bogeys over his first 13 holes, including five dropped shots before his first birdie on No. 12. A trio of birdies from 14 helped Canizares grab a share of third, but it was not enough to get the win.

Waring saw himself tied for second with Lahiri a few times on Sunday, but some late bogeys also took him out of contention. Waring made five birdies and six bogeys on his round to finish tied for third.

Westwood had a chance at the start of the day as he sat just three back of Wiesberger, but a double-bogey on No. 2 all but took the defending champion out of contention. He made 11 straight pars from three before making a pair of bogeys on 13 and 14. A birdie at 16 was the only gain of the day for Westwood.

NOTES: Since 1999, nine of the 17 winners have now been players claiming their maiden European Tour victory ... Lahiri finished in the top 25 of the European Q School, giving him exempt status on tour this season ... Lahiri finished tied for 10th at this event last year after missing the cut the previous two ... Wiesberger has finished within the top six in each of his first four events this season, but his only two tour victories came in 2012 at the Ballantine's Championship and the Lyoness Open ... Lahiri earned 439,796 euros with this victory ... The European Tour heads to Thailand next week for the True Thailand Classic, which is a new event.