Singapore: Danthai Boonma tamed ‘The Beast’ to claim his maiden Asian Tour triumph at the inaugural US$750,000 World Classic Championship at Laguna National.
Adopting a cautious final-day approach, the talented Thai teenager toured the World Classic Course in two-under 69.
That gave him a four-day total of two-under 282 at Laguna National Golf and Country Club, a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Danthai finished one shot ahead of Malaysian Nicholas Fung, the only other player to end the week in red numbers, testimony to the toughness of the Andy Dye-designed layout.
Korean Wang Jeung-hun signed off with a 69 to finish in third place with Australian Sam Brazel fourth on 285.
Still in his first year as a professional, 19-year-old Danthai was elated with his breakthrough victory.
“I’m so excited and happy that I’m now a champion on the Asian Tour,” said Danthai, who took home the winner’s prize purse of US$135,000.
“I didn’t want to think too much about winning the tournament during my front nine. But after making three birdies in four holes after the turn, I started to believe that this could be my week,” added the Thai, who won two gold medals at the 2012 South East Asia (SEA) Games.
Fung’s challenge at the World Classic Championship effectively came to an end at the par-four 16 where he three-putted for a bogey.
“The hole that cost me the title this week was the 16th hole where I missed a two-foot putt to save par. I knew Danthai was ahead of me by one after that but I also knew there were still birdie opportunities on 17 and 18,” said Fung.
After making par on 17, the Malaysian had another chance to pile the pressure on Danthai on 18 where a birdie would have forced a play-off. However, his 10-footer failed to drop leaving him as runner-up.
“I misjudged my putt on 18. I should have hit the ball slightly to the right. But it’s okay. This may not be my week but I’m still proud I managed to prove myself under such challenging conditions. This is golf,” said Fung.