Thailand’s Udorn Duangdecha sparked a superb final day charge to win his maiden Asian Tour title at the King’s Cup on Sunday.
Udorn, who entered the final round five strokes off the lead, fired a sparkling six-under-par 66 for a four-day total of 12-under-par 276 for a two stroke victory at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club.
South African Jbe Kruger settled for his third runner-up finish this season after narrowly missing his 50 feet eagle putt on the 18th hole. He signed off with a 73 for a 278 total to take a share of second place with Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul and Korean Mo Joong-kyung at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club.
Joint overnight leader Prom Meesawat of Thailand slipped to tied fifth place following a 74 to tie with countryman Kwanchai Tannin on a 279 total at the US$300,000 event presented by Singha and Sports Authority of Thailand.
Australian Tony Carolan (74) and Thai duo Thaworn Wiratchant (71) and Piya Swangarunporn (66) were a stroke back on 280 in tied seventh place.
“It is such an honour to win this tournament for the King. I really put in all my effort today to win the King’s Cup and I’m glad it all worked out in my favour. I want to dedicate this victory to my King,” said the 40-year-old.
Udorn, who is the third Thai player to win on the Asian Tour this season, posted a bogey free round with six birdies and was delighted to finally land his first Asian Tour title in the event which was held to commemorate the King of Thailand’s birthday next month.
“The time felt right for me to win. I was feeling confident all day and made every shot with determination,” said Udorn, whose best placing prior to his victory was in tied second at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters and Queen’s Cup in Thailand last year.
“It was hard not to see all the big names on the leaderboard coming into the final day but I tried my best to ignore their scores and played against myself and remained focus. That eased some pressure off me,” added the Thai.
It was another case of so close but yet so far for Kruger as he rued a cold putter in a round of two birdies against three bogeys. He could have forced a play-off if he sank his final eagle putt.
“I hit the ball well but I could not buy a putt today. I think the last putt was the only one I had a chance of scoring. If the putter is not working on the final day, you can never win,” said Kruger who finished second at the Handa Singapore Classic and Brunei Open, where he lost to Siddikur in a play-off.
“I’m really playing well and everything has to come together on the final round especially my putting. I’m in good form and I feel that my time to win will come soon,” said Kruger, a two-time winner in South Africa.
Korean Mo, who won his second Asian Tour victory in Thailand in 2008, charged into contention after turning in 33 but his title aspiration was dashed with a bogey on hole 13.
“I had a good early start but missed a few chances on the back nine. I could have played better this week but overall it was okay. I knew what I had to shoot to give myself a chance and I remained focus of achieving that,” said Mo, who shot a 66 today.
“I looked to be on my way to actually having a chance of winning until my bogey on the 13th hole. That was very crucial, you can never make a bogey like that if you want to win a tournament,” added the Korean.