Prayad completes Royal double

Hua Hin, Thailand, January 19: Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng completed a Royal double when he posted a six-under-par 66 to win the US$1 million King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin at the Black Mountain Golf Club on Sunday.

After adding the Queen’s Cup to his trophy cabinet in June, the popular winner claimed another deserving victory at the Asian Tour season-ending event with a winning total of 12-under-par 276.

Rikard Karlberg of Sweden

Rikard Karlberg of Sweden

Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, who had taken a share of the lead for the first two rounds, had to settle for second place after signing off with a 67.

Thailand’s Prom Meesawat will have to wait longer for his second Asian Tour win as a final round 71 saw him finish in equal third alongside compatriot Chapchai Nirat and India’s Anirban Lahiri.

“I’m extremely happy to win the King’s Cup because it’s a great event and also staged in my home town here in Hua Hin. This win is especially special as it’s dedicated to all the Thai people,” said Prayad, who took home the winner’s prize purse of US$180,000 to surpass the US$3 million career earnings mark on the Asian Tour.

Prayad, who will turn 48 at the end of the month, showed he is still a force to be reckoned with from the get-go with three birdies in his opening four holes.

After turning in 34, he birdied the par-four 10th to move within two shots back of Karlberg at nine-under.

The roars from the galleries erupted when Prayad sank his eagle putt from 20 feet to dethrone Karlberg from the top after the Swede succumbed to his nerves by making consecutive bogeys on holes 13 and 14.

Prayad’s eighth win on the region’s premier Tour was confirmed after another birdie on the 17th ensured his unassailable lead and victory which he celebrated by jumping into the ninth hole greenside lake.

Karlberg was left to rue what could have been as he never recovered after a costly bogey on the 13th hole.

Although he closed with two birdies on holes 17 and 18, it was not enough to catch Prayad on the day where the Thai veteran was at his best.

“I’m happy with how I played today but unfortunately I made a mistake on 13. I didn’t make any putts after that.

Chapchai Nirat of Thailand

Chapchai Nirat of Thailand

I had a lot of good chance and if I didn’t make the mistake on 13, I might have won. I felt great out there. I swing the way I wanted and hit the shot that I wanted to do,” said Karlberg.

Meanwhile Lahiri believes he will be the player to look out for again when the 2014 Asian Tour season gets underway.

The Indian, who has confirmed his place at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM set to tee off in Malaysia in March, closed his campaign with his best score of 68 which was highlighted by three birdies, one bogey and an eagle.

“It has been a great season for me to finish on a high. I’ll work more on my fitness as well as my game and come back stronger for the new season.

I should have made a couple more birdies but I’m really happy with another solid week. There are lots of positives which I can take back from this week,” said Lahiri.

Anirban Lahiri of India

Anirban Lahiri of India

Leading Scores after round 4 of the King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin being played at the par 72, 7386 Yards Black Mountain GC course (a- denotes amateur):

276 – Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 68-71-71-66.

277 – Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 65-71-74-67.

279 – Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 69-71-71-68, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 68-73-68-70, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 65-71-72-71.

280 – Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 71-70-71-68.

281 – Scott HEND (AUS) 72-71-69-69, Angelo QUE (PHI) 66-75-67-73.

283 – Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 73-69-72-69.

284 – Andrew DODT (AUS) 71-73-71-69, MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 69-68-70-77.

Selected scores

286 – Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 74-71-71-70

288 – Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-73-71-73

Ends.

About the Asian Tour

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