Monday, September 16, 2013


Singapore: Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant showed never to write off an old man when he saved the best for last by snatching the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) title from American rookie Chan Kim to win his record 16th Asian Tour title on Sunday.
While the 46-year-old has not lit the scene in his previous eight starts before his arrival in Chinese Taipei, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion showed his mettle by going the distance to ink another piece of history and leapfrog from 63rd place to 14th place on the merit rankings with his season haul of US$116,134.
“I’m very proud because I can still win at the age of 46. I was really struggling with my irons but I chipped and putted so well. I honestly didn’t think that I could win,” said Thaworn, whose best result prior to this week was a tied 28th finish in Indonesia in May.
Mother Nature played a pivotal role when the Thai veteran clinched the inaugural Yeangder TPC title in 2010 and it proved to be Thaworn’s lucky star again when play was suspended for over an hour, allowing him to regroup and map out his final strategy.
“I was lucky when I won the Yeangder TPC in 2010. Nature helped me that year because we only played 54 holes!” said Thaworn.
“After the first four holes, I didn’t think I had a chance to win the tournament at all because Chan Kim played very well. Play was suspended for an hour and it got better for me after that because I birdied five and six,” added Thaworn.
Kim was left to rue what could have been after three costly bogeys starting from the 15th put paid to any hopes of a fairytale ending in his rookie season.
The 23-year-old could however take consolation that his second placed finish at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club has lifted him to 33rd place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
“I played pretty solid throughout the whole round. I have no complaints. I just had a few bad shots here and there. I want to carry that onto my next tournament and keep it going,” said Kim, who enjoyed his biggest prize cheque of US$55,000 since he topped the class at Qualifying School in January.
“It was really fun just to learn from one of the game’s best golfers. I’ve a lot to learn from him and I’m glad I had the opportunity to play with him,” added Kim.
Philippines’ Angelo Que meanwhile moved up five spots to 11th place courtesy of his third place finish at the Yeangder TPC.
His spell binding performance, where he needed only 21 putts on the final day to put himself into contention for his fourth Asian Tour win, virtually sealed his place at the World Cup of Golf in November and put himself in the brink of a place in the lucrative CIMB Classic in Malaysia next month.
“I feel great. This week was pretty big. It was a week for me to secure my spot in the World Cup of Golf and my Asian Tour card for next season. At the same time, I think I have a chance to get into the CIMB Classic now. If I keep doing what I’ve been doing then I think I can get to play at the CIMB Classic for the first time,” said Que.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat continues to lead the Order of Merit on US$679,999 with India’s Gagnajeet Bhullar and Australia’s Scott Hend in second and third place respectively on US$279,193 and US$273,128/
The Asian Tour will take a week’s break before heading to Japan for the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open which tees off from September 26-29.
Asian Tour Order of Merit Top-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1 Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) $679,999.36
2 Gaganjeet BHULLAR   (IND) $279,193.59
3 Scott HEND   (AUS)   $273,128.13
4 Thongchai JAIDEE   (THA) $238,391.48
5 BAEK Seuk-hyun   (KOR) $186,068.54
6 LIANG Wen-chong   (CHN) $185,383.29
7 Anirban LAHIRI   (IND) $148,085.24
8 Wade ORMSBY   (AUS) $145,317.27
9 Shiv KAPUR   (IND) $129,934.57
10 Berry HENSON   (USA) $125,616.15
11 Angelo QUE   (PHI) $122,655.05
12 Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $121,089.15
13 KIM Gi-whan   (KOR) $117,217.27
14 Thaworn WIRATCHANT   (THA) $116,134.62
15 Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL   (THA) $106,704.53
16 Rikard KARLBERG   (SWE) $104,457.59
17 SIDDIKUR   (BAN) $103,333.50
18 Joonas GRANBERG   (FIN) $86,437.83
19 Bryce EASTON   (RSA) $86,159.05
20 Arnond VONGVANIJ   (THA) $84,877.45



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