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Malaysian Tour Pro Found Dead In Hotel Room

Professional golfer Arie Irawan was found dead in his hotel room before the final round of the PGA Tour Series-China Sanya Championship, according to the Tour’s website. He was 28 years old. 

The Malaysian pro had missed the 36-hole cut in Jiyang, Sanya, China at the Yalong Bay Golf Club, but staying on-site over the weekend. Irawan’s roommate, Kevin Techakanokboon, noticed that Irawan was unresponsive in bed as he prepared to play in the final round of the event.

Techakanokboon called fellow pro Gunn Charoenkul to get help. Charoenkul’s wife, who speaks Mandarin, coordinated emergency efforts while  American player Shotaro Ban administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

After 45 minutes of revival efforts, emergency crews pronounced Irawan dead.

“This is just a terrible tragedy that affects all of us who are part of a very tight-knit family here in China” Greg Carlson, the PGA Tour Series-China Executive Director, said. “Arie played with us in 2018, his first full year on our Tour, and I know he was excited about this season as he continued his professional golf pursuits. We are incredibly saddened by this news, and we extend our sincere condolences to his wife and family.

“He was just an incredibly popular player, well-liked by fellow players and staff. The fact he would caddie for his friend like he did in Zhuhai typifies the kind of guy Arie was. His smile brightened whatever room he was in, and everybody liked being around him. This is a significant loss for so many of us and for our Tour.”

The Tour reported that early indications point to natural causes as the reason for his death, although the coroner had yet to complete his report. 

As a result of Irawan’s death, the Tour canceled the final round of the event.

Irawan was a native of Kuala Lumpur, but left Malaysia to attend the University of Tulsa on a golf scholarship in 2008. During his time in Oklahoma, he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team and was an Academic All-American during the 2010-11 school year. He earned his degree in management information systems.

Irawan is survived by his wife, Marina, his parents, Ahmad and Jeny, and his sister, Wan Edna.

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