Jakarta, October 29: Young Thai talent Panuphol Pittayarat completed a total of 25 holes on Sunday to claim a commanding five-shot victory for his maiden Asian Tour title at the weather-hit Indonesia Open.
The 24-year-old Panuphol returned in the morning to finish the remaining seven holes from his third round where he signed for a five-under-par 67 to lead by three shots heading into the final round.
Panuphol traded three birdies against a bogey for an outward 34, grabbing just a one-shot edge over a fast-charging countryman Tirawat Kaewsiribandit, who closed in with four birdies, at the turn.
Panuphol, however, pulled clear with three straight birdies from the 10th hole before adding two m
ore birdies in his closing five holes for a final round 65 and a winning total of 23-under-par 265 at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
Tirawat returned with a second straight 67 to settle for second place while Jazz Janewattananond and Namchok Tantipokhakul, also of Thailand, shared third place on 273 following respective rounds of 67 and 69 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
Rattanon Wannasrichan, 22, stayed bogey-free in his last 29 holes to ensure a strong Thai presence on the final leaderboard. He closed with a flawless 67 to grab fifth place on his own on 274.
Rory Hie soared with two eagles and one birdie in his closing five holes to emerge as the highest-placed Indonesian in 12th place on 277.
The penultimate round of the Indonesia Open was affected by a lengthy rain delay on Saturday. A total of 57 players returned on Sunday morning to complete their third rounds with the final round being played concurrently. There was no redraw for the players’ groups for the final round.
Did you know?
- Panuphol took home a winner’s prize purse of US$54,000 and propelled to 14th place on the Order of Merit. He also earned a one-year winner exemption on Asian Tour following his win.
- Prior to his victory, Panuphol has claimed three top-10s on the Asian Tour this season.
- Panuphol is the 10th first-time winner on the Asian Tour this season. He is also the fifth Thai to emerge triumphant on the Asian Tour this season.
- Panuphol turned professional in 2007, at a young age of 14. He started plying his trade on the Asian Tour in 2009 and has not missed out on his playing rights since 2011. He has finished inside top-60 on the Order of Merit for the last six years.
- Panuphol had come in tied-second at the 2016 Indonesia Open, held on the same course last year.
- Panuphol is nicknamed “Coconut” by his parents. He turned professional at a young age of 14.
- Tirawat, who hails from Khon Kaen, marked his best ever result on the Asian Tour with his runner-up finish at the Indonesia Open.
- Tirawat, who turned professional in 2010, regained his Asian Tour card at the 2017 Qualifying School after finishing in seventh place on his own. He missed only two cuts in 13 starts on the Asian Tour this season and has enjoyed his first top-10 result in Korea last month.
- Tirawat fought through a back injury to claim his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) win on home soil in June. His professional breakthrough came on his local Tour last year.
- Tirawat battled against a cold at the start of the week. Also endured pain in his knee through the final round.
- Jazz came into the Indonesia Open last year, hoping for a win to keep his Asian Tour card for the 2017 season. He started this week with one win and four top-10s already in his bag.
Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha) – Final Round 65 (-7), Total 265 (-23)
It has been six years since my last win and I am very happy with this win. Even though I played 25 holes today, it was a good day because I felt very comfortable out there playing with two Thai players.
It was a bad decision I made on hole four where I ended up with a bogey, but that was the only hole that I did not do too well on. I just stayed in the present and did not think about what was going to happen.
I came out this week with a new mentality to just enjoy golf and stick to my routine regardless of the result. Coming down the 18th hole, I totally did not know what I was shooting. I just took it one shot at a time. During the suspension, I got a bit of a rest and after that, I just went out to play.
I tried to play every hole the same way and not think about the result and it works! I will keep that mentality going into the next couple of tournaments.
Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (Tha) – Final Round 67 (-5), Total 270 (-18)
I am very happy. I know Panunphol is a very good player so I just played my own game and I tried my best. My putting on my back nine was not very good, but overall, I did well.
I tried my best through every single hole and I did not look at the leaderboard. I wanted to play without any stress.
I think the improvements this year were all due to my stronger metal game and that I can control my emotions better.
Jazz Janewattananon (Tha) – Final Round (-7), Total 273 (-15)
Finishing inside top-three is always good. Last year I tried to keep my card at this event and I was trying too hard and was in a bad place. I came back this year with a different perspective and just enjoyed the beautiful course.
It’s a fun course to play but it was a tough tournament with the number of holes I ended up having to play today.
On hole seven, I hit in the bunker, then chunked it out, was left with 87 yards to the hole and I hit it in.
Rory Hie (Ina)- Final Round 69 (-3), Total 277 (-11)
Two eagles in a round and I am very happy that it happened especially today. This round looked pretty bad from the beginning. I pulled my first shot left and the ball was plugged in the bunker and I ended up making a double-bogey. Then I pulled the first shot on my second hole and made bogey. I was four over through eight holes.
After that, I just wanted to make it back to even par, so it was good that I birdied hole nine before I make the turn. Then I kept struggling to start the back nine and hit it in the rough on hole 10. I chipped in on the 12th hole from 20 feet off the green and made birdie, which was the first time I chipped with a three-wood and made it.
I had my first eagle for the round on the 14th hole. The pin was tucked way right and I aimed right at the pin, it ended up being 8-feet for eagle and I made the putt. Next hole I made a 15-footer for birdie. Last hole I played it perfectly and made the putt that was straight downhill for eagle. I trusted the line my caddy gave me.
My week has been up and down to be honest, there was a lot of good and a lot that I can take away from this week. Hopefully I can clean up the bad shots and be in contention next week.
Scores after round 4 of the Indonesia Open being played at the par 72, 7243 Yards Pondok Indah GC course (am – denotes amateur):
265 – Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 68-65-67-65.
270 – Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 68-68-67-67.
273 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-68-69-67, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 69-66-69-69.
274 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 70-66-71-67.
275 – Lionel WEBER (FRA) 72-70-64-69, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 69-69-67-70.
276 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 72-68-70-66, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 70-73-65-68, Anthony QUAYLE (AUS) 71-66-70-69, Andrew MARTIN (AUS) 71-65-70-70.
277 – Rory HIE (INA) 68-73-67-69.
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