Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand: Namchok Tantipokhakul defeated fellow-Thai Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol on the second play-off hole to win his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship.
The 30-year-old Namchok, who held a five-shot lead heading into the final round, fired three birdies in his opening five holes but dropped a shot on nine to turn in 33. He stumbled with a double-bogey on 12 before trading two bogeys against a birdie in the next four holes.
A four-foot birdie putt on the last hole saw him close with an even-par 71 to force extra time with Channachok, who had returned with a 66, at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club. The duo tied on 14-under-par 270 total in regulation play.
Namchok and Chanachok parred the first play-off hole on the par-four 18 after missing a five-footer and eight-footer respectively. A12-feet eagle putt sealed the deal for Namchok on the same hole at the second time of asking after Chanachok missed his eagle attempt from 20 feet.
“I started very well but struggled with my mental game for a while in the middle of the round. I hit it into the water on the 12th hole and three-putted the next hole for bogey.
“I missed a lot of putts today. The only one I made was probably on the last which helped me get into the play-off,” said Namchok, who also eagled the 18th hole in the second round of the tournament.
Namchok, who last won on the ADT in 2015, was thrilled to end his season on a high note, especially after missing out on his 2018 Asian Tour card following a 67th place finish on the Order of Merit last week.
“I was really nervous heading into the end of the round but when I knew I got into the play-off with Chanachok, I told myself to just enjoy the process and not think about the result. Chanachok is like my brother so we were both having fun out there,” Namchok added.
Namchok, who led from start to finish, took home a winner’s prize purse of US$21,492 and receives eight Official World Golf Ranking points.
Despite missing out on his second ADT win this season, Chanachok tipped his hat to Namchok.
“I played well to give myself a chance in the play-off. I am happy with my result although I didn’t win. Namchok is my good friend and we had fun out there. I feel happy for Namchok,” said 23-year-old Chanachok.
Thanyakon Khrongpha, Chinnarat Phadungsil and Jazz Janewattananond ensured a strong Thai presence on the leaderboard after signing for respective rounds of 66, 66 and 67 to share third place on 271 at the ฿4 million (about US$120,000) event.
Thai Pannakorn Uthaipas was crowned the 2017 ADT Order of Merit champion following the conclusion of the season-ending Boonchu Ruangkit Championship. Pannakorn closed with a 68 to finish in tied-31st place and cap a season’s haul of US$55,859.
Japanese Masaru Takahashi, American John Catlin, Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun and Nattawat Suvajanakorn of Thailand, who finished second, third, fourth and fifth respectively on the Order of Merit, also earned playing rights on the Asian Tour for 2018.
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