Pattaya, Thailand: Kiradech Aphibarnrat underlined his status as Thailand’s number one golfer by lifting the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation trophy for the second time.
Starting the round with a three-shot lead, Kiradech fired four birdies against two bogeys to close with a two-under-par 70 at the Siam Country Club’s Waterside Course.
He won by three shots with a 14-under-par 274 total at the ฿4 million (about US$120,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
The 28-year-old Kiradech, who won the inaugural edition in 2015, took home a cheque for US$21,466 and received nine Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, which will put him closer to breaking into the world’s top-50 by the end of the season.
Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate William Harrold of England returned a 66 to take second place while Thai Pannakorn Uthaipas posted a battling 71 to settle for third place on 278.
American John Catlin, a two-time ADT winner, carded a 71 to claim fourth place while Pawin Ingkhapradit of Thailand signed for a 67 to take fifth place on 280.
Kiradech said: “It was a tough day. Pannakorn and John were piling the pressure on me. I made a crucial par on 16, hitting it 230 yards against the wind and two-putted on the green. That gave me some confidence and I managed to stay composed till the end to win.
“It has been a great week. It’s always great to win at home. This will give me some confidence heading into the Indonesian Masters next week. The standard of play has improved a lot on the ADT. It’s great to see,” added Kiradech, Asia’s number one in 2013.
Kiradech, ranked 60th on the OWGR at the start of the week, also praised three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Thongchai Jaidee, who hosted the event for the third consecutive edition.
“Thongchai did a very good job in hosting the players this week. It’s fantastic to see him giving back to the game by creating playing opportunities for the budding golfers in the region.
“The tournament is well organised and the course is in top condition. It’s just like a championship event,” Kiradech said.
Hanoi, Vietnam: Le Hoang Phuong, a respected figure in golf in Vietnam, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor to the Asian Golf Industry Federation.