Lopburi, Thailand: Sadom Kaewkanjana produced an ace performance en route to a five-stroke victory in the ฿4 million (about US$123,000) Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2019.
With a sweetly-struck seven-iron from 175 yards, the 20-year-old Thai aced the second hole at the 13th Military Circle Golf Course, the venue at which tournament host Thongchai Jaidee grew up playing on.
It was the first hole-in-one of Sadom’s professional career and helped him to a closing two-under-par 68 and a 14-under aggregate of 266.
Thai-Japanese Kosuke Hamamoto signed off with a 65 to take second place while Korean Lee Soo-min posted a 69 to finish third at the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event jointly sanctioned by the All Thailand Golf Tour.
As well as earning the first prize for US$22,372, Sadom received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, in only his third event since joining the play-for-pay ranks last December.
Sadom, who came through last month’s Asian Tour Qualifying School where he finished in tied-13th, said: “I’m happy to win on the ADT. I was very excited to start the round today and then the hole-in-one came out of nowhere. I just wanted to hit the green and make par but that was a nice surprise. I got really lucky,” said Sadom.
The Thai, who marked his card with one double-bogey, one bogey, three birdies and the ace, credited his ability to stay composed despite almost losing the lead towards the middle of the round.
“I was looking at the scores and Soo-min (Lee) was only one shot behind after hole 12 when I dropped a shot and he made birdie. I told myself I needed to make more birdies … and I did. After hole 13 and 14 I was more confident,” added Sadom.
Lee, a one-time European Tour winner, took pride in his performance, despite struggling towards the end of his final round.
“I played well all week and was playing well until hole 17 when I three-putted for double-bogey, and hole 18 where I hit my tee shot into the hazard. But I am excited with the progress I have made in my game this week,” said the 25-year-old.
The Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2019 was inaugurated in 2015 with the intention of providing more playing opportunities for the region’s rising stars as well as to draw attention to Thongchai’s charitable foundation.
The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2020 season.