Lam wins Asian Tour 1 after denying Lim in thriller
Royden Lam put his tour card woes behind him as he denied a 105 average from Paul Lim to win the first event of the 2019 Asian Tour campaign.
Hong Kong’s Lam emulated his start to the inaugural Asian Tour after coming out victorious in last year’s opening event against Noel Malicdem – who hit a nine-darter in the final, despite suffering defeat.
Lam raced into the last 16, dropping just four legs in seeing off Ronnie Maestre, Sung Hyun Hong and Ho-Yin Song, before a 99.1 average and 5-3 win over Japan’s Keita Ono booked ‘The Wolf’s place in the quarter-finals in Seoul. Wins over Kazuki Hagane and Ho-Yin Shek followed as Lam continued his rampant run and progressed to the final in South Korea.
The Hong Kong-based ace raced into a 3-0 lead in the final, with Singapore’s Lim down to at least a two-dart finish in all three legs. Lim fought back and eventually levelled up the match at three-a-piece, before pinning double six to move on the brink of his second Asian Tour crown.
‘The Singapore Slinger’ squandered match darts in leg eight, however, and that led to Hong Kong’s Lam sending the match to a decider. A scintillating 15-darter and 101 checkout, from Lam, in the final leg of proceedings closed out a narrow 5-4 victory for ‘The Wolf’ and increased his chances of topping the Asian Tour order and merit and appearing at Alexandra Palace once again.
As for Lim, he had a day to be proud of, beating both four-time Asian Tour event winner Lourence Ilagan and recently-crowned Ladies’ World Champion Mikuru Suzuki en route to a valiant run to the final in Seoul.
Five-time Japanese Open winner and two-time PDC World Championship qualifier, Seigo Asada, endured a fifth round exit at the hands of Ho-Yin Shek, while Noel Malicdem – who hit one of two ton-plus averages in Seoul – exited at the last 32 stage thanks to Kai-Fan Leung of Hong Kong.
The second event of the 2019 Asian Tour campaign will take place on Sunday in Seoul with another $10,000 on offer throughout the duration of the tournament.