Thammanoon Toasts Taiwanese Triumph

Thammanoon Sriroj celebrates his success.
Thammanoon Sriroj celebrates his success.

Miaoli, Chinese Taipei: Thammanoon Sriroj lifted the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship trophy after defeating local prospect Wang Wei-lun on the second hole of a sudden-death play-off at the US$110,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

The 46-year-old Thai hit a 15-yard chip shot from greenside and holed a three-foot par putt on the 18th green at the second extra hole to edge Wang, who settled for bogey after missing a 30-footer, at the National Golf and Country Club. Both had bogeyed the first play-off hole on the par-four 18th. 

Thammanoon walked away with the winner’s cheque of US$19,250 and moved up more than 40 rungs to 10th place on the Order of Merit. He also earned six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points courtesy of his maiden win on the ADT. 

It was a nerve-wracking victory for Thammanoon, who led by one shot after the 17th hole but three-putted for bogey on the last to close with a one-over-par 73 and tie Wang, who returned with a 71, on 12-under-par 276.

Local stalwart Lin Wen-tang, winner of the tournament in 2010 and 2014, battled to a 73 to finish two shots back in third place alongside Sean Riordan of New Zealand and Thai Phachara Khongwatmai, who registered rounds of 68 and 71 respectively.

Malaysia’s Gavin Green took sixth place on 279 following a 75 while South African Mathiam Keyser was a further shot back in seventh after carding a 74.

With swirling wind speed reaching as high as 40 kilometres per hour during the day, Thammanoon stood tall and overcame his nerves to seal the win.

“Conditions were really tough. I told myself to avoid making mistakes instead of focusing on making birdies. I putted really well. I got nervous heading into the last few holes but I tried to fight my way through, especially in the play-off. I am glad I managed to hang in there and get the job done,” said Thammanoon, a five-time Asian Tour winner but not since 2004.

Despite missing out on his first professional victory, Wang found consolation with his runner-up finish as it capped his best result since joining the play-for-pay ranks in January.

“This is my best finish so far. I am taking a lot of positives from this week. I lost my tempo and struggled a bit on the front nine but managed to get it back. It was really difficult with the strong winds. Overall, it was a good experience for me,” said the 22-year-old, who mixed his card with three birdies against two bogeys.

 

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