Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: Pavit Tangkamolprasert pulled off a stunning masterstroke to defeat fellow-Thai Phachara Khongwatmai and Australian David Gleeson on the second hole of a sudden-death play-off at the Sabah Masters.
The 30-year-old Pavit holed out with a 15-yard chip-in for an unlikely birdie that his rivals were unable to match at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
It was a second Asian Tour title for Pavit, who suffered a play-off loss at the Thailand Open two weeks ago.
At Sutera Harbour, Pavit closed with a six-under 65 for a four-day total of 13-under 271 that saw him soar to the top of the leaderboard alongside Phachara (67), Gleeson (68) and Indian Aman Raj (63).
Raj was eliminated at the first extra hole when he could only manage a bogey at the 18th where his three rivals all made their pars.
Returning to the 18th, Pavit, Phachara and Gleeson all came up short with their approach shots to the par-four, leaving tricky chip shots. Pulling off one of the finest strokes of his career, Pavit it was who prevailed.
He said: “It’s incredible. I really didn’t expect this. I didn’t even expect to get into a play-off. I finished my round early and I had already changed out of my golfing attire and was getting ready to go to the airport! I had to change back again when I knew I was in the play-off.
“But this is golf. You never know what will happen till the last minute. I came close to winning the Thailand Open two weeks ago. I felt more pressure that week since it’s my national Open. This week I was more relaxed and I think that helped me a lot.
“I hit my irons really well today. Putted well, too. I’ve been working very hard on my game lately. It’s great to finally win.
Since my first win in Macao, I have had some setbacks, battling with a wrist injury. But it’s all in the past now. In golf, you’ve just got to keep trying. You don’t know when it will come so you need to keep trying.”
The inaugural Sabah Masters was supported by Tourism Malaysia with the aim of boosting tourism in Sabah.