Photo - Asian Tour
TERRIFIC THANYAKORN TRIUMPHS AT KARIZA CLASSIC
Jakarta: Thai prospect Thanyakorn Khrongpha made a final round charge to seal his first Asian Development Tour title at the Kariza Classic on Friday.
Thanyakorn, 20, who returned this morning to complete his third round, closed with two remarkable birdies for a sizzling six-under-par 66 for a four-day total of 13-under-par 275 to edge local hope Rory Hie by one stroke at the Imperial Klub Golf.
Hie played one of his best rounds with a 67 to settle for second place on a 276 total while Thailand’s Nakul Vichitryuthasastr was a stroke back on 277 at the US$60,000 Asian Development Tour event.
Malaysia’s S. Sivachandran extended his lead on the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit by finishing fourth on a 278 total, three strokes behind the winner.
Thanyakorn, a two-time gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games, was a figure of consistency despite playing nine holes earlier in the morning. He got off to a bright start in the final round when he turned in 32.
He ignited his title charge with a birdie on the 11th hole but suffered a setback on 15. Another birdie on 17 drew him level with Hie but Thanyakorn calmly sank his birdie putt from 12 feet on the last hole to seize the title.
“I was too tired and hungry to be nervous! I was feeling tired after playing 27 holes and knew I needed to make that putt to avoid a play-off. This is a very special victory for me and I feel like my career has progressed more since I turned professional,” said Thanyakorn who joined the pay-for-play ranks this year.
It was his first victory on the Asian Development Tour but Thanyakorn is hoping his career will continue to blossom as he aims to one day carve an illustrious resume on the Asian Tour.
“Thongchai (Jaidee) is my favourite golfer and I hope to follow in his footsteps. There is a long way more for me to go but I hope to play and win on the Asian Tour,” said Thanyakorn, who bagged US$10,500 for his victory.
Hie flew his country’s flag high and despite finishing second, he was delighted with his polished performance where he carded five birdies against one bogey.
“My ball striking has been good and I just need to work on my putting. It has been a good week for me and it gives me confidence for my next tournament,” said Hie, who was the first Indonesian to earn his Asian Tour card through Qualifying School in 2009.
Sivachandran fulfilled his goal of widening his lead on the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit with his fourth place finish at the Kariza Classic. The top-three players on the Order of Merit will earn their Asian Tour card next season.
“I tried to make a charge up the leaderboard but my approach shots let me down. I made nine consecutive pars on the back nine and just couldn’t get a better score. Overall, I came here and did what I wanted to and I’m glad that I have a comfortable lead on the Order of Merit,” said Sivachandran.