Player death cuts short Tour event: Malaysian pro mourned by peers after Hainan tragedy

Sports | 8 Apr 2019

Malaysian golfer Arie Irawan died of "apparent natural causes" in his hotel room on the resort island of Hainan and the PGA Tour Series-China canceled the final round of the tournament.

Arie, who turned professional in 2013 and won two events on the Asian Development Tour in 2015, had missed the halfway cut at the Sanya Championship, the second event on the series.

"The PGA Tour and the China Golf Association grieve at this loss of one of our members and share sincere condolences with Arie's wife, Marina, and his parents, Ahmad and Jeny," the Tour said. "When something of this magnitude occurs in the golf world, we all grieve at the same time."

The coroner's report had not been completed, the statement said.

Arie's career was interrupted in 2016 when he was involved in an accident on a moped and sidelined for several months. He was ranked 1,366th in the world this week. He was 28.

He married Marina Malek last May and she sometimes worked as his caddie, even if Arie admitted that she did not know much about golf. "She keeps me calm, relaxed and happy so I just go out there and play golf," he told Malaysia's The Star newspaper last year.

Arie missed the 36-hole cut Friday in the tournament at Sanya Yalong Bay Golf Club.

In cutting the tournament short to 54 holes, the tour said that there are some things in life that "are bigger than a sporting event."

American Trevor Sluman led after three rounds with an 18-under total of 198 and was declared winner of the tournament. Three Americans - Matt Gilchrest, Max McGreevy and Michael Perras - were tied for second, two strokes behind.

"My heart goes out to Arie's family and his beautiful wife, Marina," Sluman said. "Along with the rest of the tour, we are thinking about them at this time. It's very bittersweet today."

American Jennifer Kupcho became the first woman to capture a championship at former all-male enclave Augusta National Golf Club, outdueling Mexico's Maria Fassi to win at the famed home of the Masters.

In a dramatic battle between two 21-year-old US collegiate stars, Kupcho had three birdies and an eagle in the last six holes in firing a five-under par 67 to finish 54 holes on 10-under 206 for a four-stroke victory over Fassi, who fired her third consecutive 70.

Japanese teen Yuka Yasuda and Yuka Saso of the Philippines shared a distant third on 214.

The amateur tournament was the first women's trophy ever contested at Augusta National, which opened in 1933 but didn't admit its first female members until 2012.

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