Thai Boom Continues With Itthipat Triumph

Itthipat Buranatanyarat triumphed in the Philippines.
Itthipat Buranatanyarat triumphed in the Philippines.

Cavite, Philippines: Thai Itthipat Buranatanyarat repelled an early charge by American Casey O’Toole and survived a late scare from Filipino Orlan Sumcad to claim his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory at the US$60,000 ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic.

Itthipat, who enjoyed a one-shot advantage heading into the final round, held his nerve to hole a seven-foot birdie putt on the last for a closing even-par 72 and a winning total of five-under-par 283 at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club.

Second-placed Sumcad, who also signed for a 72, nailed a seven-iron from 188 yards for an ace on the par-three 16th but it was not enough to pip Itthipat, who marked his card with two birdies against two bogeys to win by one shot.

O’Toole, who made an early charge with four birdies in his opening eight holes, settled for third place on 285 following a 70 in what was the second consecutive ADT event to be held in the Philippines.

Local veteran Frankie Minoza closed with a 70 to share fourth place on 286 total with American Paul Harris, who returned with a 71, while Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei carded a 72 to stay one shot back in sixth place on his own.

Itthipat, nicknamed Boom, became the third Thai following Panuwat Muenlek and Phachara Khongwatmai to win on the ADT this season.

The talented Thai traded one birdie against two bogeys to turn in 37 and reeled in eight straight pars before scoring a birdie on the last to win the tournament.

“I was really nervous and I was trying hard to hang in there. I was struggling to make birdies after the turn and I was thrilled when I finally made it on the last to win. I told myself to stay calm despite the pressure,” said the 22-year-old, who won his first professional title on home soil shortly after joining the play-for pay ranks last year.

“With this win, I feel more confident to challenge for the top-five spots on the Merit rankings this season and try and get my Asian Tour card for 2016. It’s my first time playing in the Philippines and I’m very happy to be able to win here. It has been a great week,” added Itthipat.

Itthipat took home US$10,500 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points courtesy of his victory. He jumped to third place on the Order of Merit behind leader Hsieh and second-placed Arie Irawan of Malaysia.

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