Danthai Delighted to Return to Winning Ways

Danthai Boonma triumphed in the Bangabandhu Cup Bangladesh Open at the Kurmitola Golf Club. Picture by Paul Lakatos/ Asian Tour.

Dhaka, Bangladesh: Danthai Boonma won the US$400,000 Bangabandhu Cup Golf Bangladesh Open after an enthralling two-horse race with close friend and fellow-Thai Kosuke Hamamoto.

Danthai fired a closing three-under-par 68 at Kurmitola Golf Club for a four-round aggregate of 13-under 271 and a one-shot victory over Kosuke, who carded a 70.

Rattanon Wannasrichan made it a one, two, three finish for Thailand after returning a 67 to finish three behind the champion.  

Roared on by strong local support, Bangladeshi golfing idol Siddikur Rahman closed with a 70 to finish in a group of four players tied for fourth, six back from top spot.

Danthai started the day one behind playing partner Kosuke but a brilliant front nine of three-under, which included birdies on seven, eight and nine, saw him make the turn one ahead.

It was a lead he did not relinquish, with both players coming home in even-par, enbling him to add the national Open of Bangladesh to The World Classic Championship he claimed at Laguna National in Singapore in 2015.

“I’m so excited about my second win on the Asian Tour,” said Danthai, who dined out with Kosuke for much of the week.

“I can’t believe it because it’s been tough in the past two years. I didn’t really play very well. I struggled with my mind and my short game, so I tried to figure out about those things,” added Danthai, who won the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on the Asian Development Tour in 2016 before the drought set in.

He said: “Kosuke and I ate dinner together every day. We’re close friends and we practice together. It was a bit tight … I tried to keep fighting and keep focus. Just relax and focus.”

Kosuke, Southeast Asian Games gold medal individual winner in 2017, was in pursuit of his first victory on the Asian Tour. Despite finishing second he was happy with his performance.

“It was a very fun round today,” said Kosuke, whose father is Japanese and mother Thai. “I felt the nerves out there, but I’m very happy with how my game is trending. I just need to stay patient and do the same thing and I think my time is coming soon. I am really proud of how I handled myself.”

There was no hiding the disappointment of Siddikur’s fans. The country’s star golfer was bidding to win the tournament for the first time since it joined the Asian Tour in 2015.

“My hitting was totally off,” said the two-time Asian Tour winner, who won this event in 2010 when it was part of the Professional Golf Tour of India.

“But I made a few up and downs which was very good. I played one-under so it’s okay. The course condition was really awesome. Normally we are not used to playing the course in this condition. Overall it was a wonderful week for me.”

Thailand’s 15-year-old amateur Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantanuwat made a sensational start by touring the front nine in four-under with four birdies in the first five holes. But the wheels came off on the back nine with a double-bogey on 10 and a triple on 13 contributing to a back nine of 43. He closed with a 74 and tied for 29th, on one-under.

Defending champion Sadom Kaewkanjana from Thailand signed off with a 72 to end two-over in equal 42nd.

The Asian Tour heads to its season-ending event next week, the US$1.5 million BNI Indonesian Masters presented by TNE at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, from December 1-4.

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