Sunday, February 11, 2018

Aphibarnrat storms to victory in Super 6 finale

The image of Kiradech Aphibarnrat by courtesy of Getty Images 

Kiradech Aphibarnrat won his fourth European Tour title with a 2 and 1 victory over James Nitties in the final of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth in Western Australia earlier today (Sunday).
The Thai only entered this event seven days ago on an invite and had not played any practice rounds at Karrinyup Country Club.
He needed four trips up the 18th in a play-off on Saturday night to claim the last of the 24 spots in the Super 6 and then had to come through five rounds of six-hole match play and 35 holes on Sunday.
After wins over Ben Eccles, Yusaku Miyazato, Crocker and Lucas Herbert, Aphibarnrat produced one final push to beat Australian Nitties and move back into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The victory is the 28 year old's second in a match-play event after his win at the 2015 Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play and now moves him to tenth position in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
After 54 holes of stroke play, the players were facing off against each other over the tenth, 11th, 13th, 14th, 12th and 18th, with the 90-yard shoot-out hole used to separate those still all square after six holes.
Nitties had defeated Nick Cullen, Dimitrios Papadatos, Callan O'Reilly and Sam Horsfield en route to the final, with Englishman Horsfield finishing fourth after losing 3 and 1 to Herbert in the play-off for third and fourth position. 
Former Scottish amateur champion Grant Forrest lost by one hole (over six holes) to Australia's Matthew Millar.
Player Quotes
Kiradech Aphibarnrat: "It's just been an awesome week. I don't know how to explain but I'm so happy.
"I'm working so hard. The last few months I've been getting really close and finally I've done it. It means a lot. When you focus on something, you try this hard, then I kept finishing second and then I'm not giving up. I'm trying so hard until I get it.
"It's really tough to get in the last 24. It's been tough every single match that I play in.James is playing so good but he's just unlucky at the end."
James Nitties: "It's a sad way to go down, considering another win might have got me some playing rights somewhere in the world because I currently have no status but it was a great week.
"Considering I was a four-footer away from losing the first match, it was pretty positive stuff getting to the finals.
"It's just absolutely fantastic. The weather's perfect, it's beach views every day most of the time. I couldn't complain at all. It's a fun week and I love this tournament." 
Lucas Herbert: “It was a great experience seeing how he (Aphibarnrat) hits it and how he gets it around, how he goes about things - top 50 player in the world - so whenever you get a chance to do that, it's always a really good learning curve. 
“Today it was almost tough playing him in match-play because he's such a good guy. He had some really nice things to say about me earlier in the week, too. It was almost tough trying to think of him as an enemy and beat him but really enjoyed the experience, and unfortunately just didn't quite get it over the line there at the finish, but gave myself a really good chance."



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