10 years of magic: 2004 Tianjin Open

Wed 28 Aug 2013

10 years of magic: 2004 Tianjin Open

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In this latest instalment of our looking back series, we relive all the action from the Tianjin Open back in 2004 where Thailand’s Thammanoon Srirot won by one shot over compatriot Boonchu Ruangkit at the US$200,000 Asian Tour event.
The Tianjin TEDA Open Presented by Rolls-Royce was held at the Tianjin Warner International Golf Club from Aug 19 to Aug 22.
Thammanoon, who won the event when it was last staged in 1999, shot a sparkling six-under-par 65 in the final round to win with a total score of 19-under-par 265 at the Tianjin Warner International Golf Club.
Unheralded Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih shot the season’s lowest 18-hole score on the Asian Tour with a stunning 61 to finish third, four shots behind the champion, while compatriot Chen Yuan-chi finished fourth on 271. Charlie Wi of Korea and Scotsman Simon Yates shared fifth place.
“I’m happy to win my first tournament in five years,” said Thammanoon, the first wire-to-wire winner this season. “When I came back here this week and had my practice round, I picked up a lot of confidence and felt I could win here again.”
“Boonchu put on some pressure on the back nine and I saw that he was chasing hard. I had to control my game and I’m glad I hung on for the win.”
Thammanoon, who won US$32,300, maintained control of the tournament with a superb front nine where he birdied the second, third, seventh and eighth holes. However, he said that it was a par save on the first hole which settled his nerves as Wi had drawn level straight away with an opening birdie.
“I had an eight footer for par on the first and it was good to knock that in. It settled me down into the round,” said the Thai, whose victory was his fifth in Asia but his first since 1999.
The then 48-year-old Boonchu, winner of the Thai Open that year, was two back at the start of the day but got into contention with an outward 31. Further birdies on 10, 12 and 13 saw him draw level with Thammanoon briefly before a second bogey of the day on the 14th hole, no thanks to a wayward drive, dropped him out of the lead.
The Thai veteran said: “My caddie told me to use a three wood on 14 but I opted for the driver as I wanted to be aggressive and aim for birdie. But I pushed my tee shot wide into the rough and then missed a four-footer for par. That cost me the tournament.”
“Thammanoon was too good today. Every time I got close, he responded with birdies. However, I’m happy to finish second with weekend rounds of 64s.”
The outstanding round of the day came from the 26-year-old Lu, who shattered the course record by three shots with pins tucked in tough locations. It was by far his best performance on the Asian Tour since turning professional in 2001 and he picked up a cheque of US$12,400 which was more than double of his career earnings of US$5,000 prior to this week.
“This is a big surprise,” said Lu. “Everything worked out perfectly. I hit my driver and irons really well and almost all the putts were from inside six feet. This is my first 61 in my career. I’m very happy, especially when I’ve won only US$500 from two previous starts this year.”
Hao Yuan was the highest placed golfer from China in tied 22nd position after he signed out with a final round 70 for a 280 total.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.