Aguilar's perfect finish seals win

Sun 04 May 2014

Aguilar's perfect finish seals win

  • SHARE
Singapore, May 4: Chile’s Felipe Aguilar saved the best for last when he stormed home with a birdie-eagle finish to win The Championship at Laguna National on Sunday.
The Chilean’s stunning finish was for all to see when he raced home in just 28 shots to win The Championship with a spectacular 10-under-par 62 at the US$1.5 million event that is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Korean-American David Lipsky came up short by one and had to settle for second place alongside overnight leader Anders Hansen of Denmark after carding a 65 while India’s Rahil Gangjee savoured one of his best finishes in recent years by signing off with a similar 65 to take fourth place.
Aguilar once again showed his knack for winning in Asia as his previous victory before The Championship came in 2008 in Indonesia.
“I like playing in the heat more than the cold, and with my wrist injury the heat has helped me,” said the Chilean.
He wrote off his own chances after an outward-34 but started believing in himself when he went on an astonishing birdie blitz after the turn.
David Lipsky of USA David Lipsky of USA
“I did not think I could win in the morning as I was only two-under-par after the front-nine and they were a little far away. But then I started making birdie, birdie on the back-nine and the spirit came back,” said Aguilar.
After his birdie run that got him to 19-under through 15 holes, Aguilar knew he needed a superlative effort to catch Hansen who was still holding a two-shot lead then.
“I told my caddie on nine if I can get going on the back-nine, I could do some damage and it ended up happening,” said Aguilar.
The Chilean’s magical show started when he sunk a 10-ft birdie putt at the par-three 17th and closed in dramatic fashion when he holed his approach for eagle at the last for a winning total of 22-under-par 266.
“On the 17th green I told my caddie if I make a birdie on 18, I might put some pressure on the leader and he said you might make two. I looked at him and he said that the way I’m hitting the ball I might make two and I did. It’s very, very special,” said the 39-year-old Chilean.
Lipsky’s wait for his second win on the region’s premier Tour was prolonged despite his best efforts to end his two-year title drought.
“I was still trying to do everything I can to win even on the last hole. I played really well this week. I only had four bogeys in four rounds and 23 birdies and 1 eagle in total. I’ll take that any week for sure,” said Lipsky.
While he missed out on his grandstand finish this week, Lipsky believes he will be back in contention following another top-10 finish on the Asian Tour.
Rahil Gangjee of India Rahil Gangjee of India
“My game is in good shape now and I’m playing very well. I definitely gained a lot of experience from this week,” said the 25-year-old.
Gangjee’s determination to end his decade-long title drought on the Asian Tour showed when he raced home with an unforgettable inward-31.
After an outward-34, the Indian parred the next four holes before a flurry of birdies starting from the par-four 14 saw him close with a 65 that was to be his best score for the week.
“The last few holes went by in a hurry. My heart was beating fast on the 17th tee when I hit that six-iron. It ended on the edge of the green and did not move from there. I kept myself in it and it was a bonus that the putt went in. I think this is my best finish so far and my best four round score ever,” said Gangjee.
Gangjee knows it will not be longer before he returns to the winner’s circle but is looking forward to a well-deserved rest after The Championship.
“I think it’s my physical ability to carry on which has been tested this week. It was really difficult to stay focus out there in the heat as you get more and more tired towards the end of the round. I’m looking forward to going home now,” said Gangjee.
Leading scores after round 4 of the The Championship being played at the par 72, 7071 Yards Laguna National Golf Club (am - denotes amateur):
266 - Felipe AGUILAR (CHI) 65-67-72-62.
267 - David LIPSKY (USA) 64-68-70-65, Anders HANSEN (DEN) 67-66-67-67.
269 - Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 66-67-71-65.
270 - Chris WOOD (ENG) 68-67-68-67.
271 - Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 67-70-68-66, Gregory BOURDY (FRA) 66-70-67-68.
273 - David DRYSDALE (SCO) 68-70-70-65, Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA) 69-70-68-66, Tommy FLEETWOOD (ENG) 68-67-69-69.
Selected scores
274 - Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 63-68-69-74.
Ends.
About The Asian Tour
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) 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.
About The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour’s innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2014 will feature a minimum of 48 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
About Parallel Media Group
Parallel Media Group plc is a leading communications agency specialising in Sport, Entertainment and Media.  Founded in 1987 by its Chairman David Ciclitira and listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM since 2001.  During its 27 years of experience, Parallel Media Group has promoted over 45 events on the European Tour.  Parallel Media Group aims to provide its clients with world class professional service, combining local market knowledge with international business expertise to deliver a new vision for sport.
About Laguna National Golf & Country Club
A prominent golf club in the local and regional golf scene since its inauguration in 1993, Laguna National is one of Singapore’s premier golf and country clubs offering two eighteen-hole championship courses. A private Members’ Club, it also hosts corporate events through invitation and reference only, and offers food and beverage options as well as tennis facilities. Laguna National is elevating its game with a multi-million dollar facelift, which includes a full redesign and upgrade of the existing clubhouse. The construction of a branded boutique resort hotel is underway, with target completion at the end of 2015. Upon its launch, Laguna National will boast a state-of-the-art union of a world-class golf club, and 206-room and villa branded resort hotel with full facilities including a spa, a driving range, and a fitness center.
Over the years, Laguna National has won various local and international accolades. Its two eighteen-hole championship courses, namely World Classic and Masters Courses, have hosted Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Dougherty and Vijay Singh. The Masters Course served as home for the European Tour’s Singapore Masters from 2002 through 2007. The Club has since solidified its reputation further by receiving Tiger Woods on its World Classic Course for a private event during his maiden visit to Singapore in November 2011. In November 2012 Laguna National hosted the first ever overseas Korean LPGA Tour event and the inaugural Prudential Causeway Trophy in June 2013. The Prudential Causeway Trophy continues its second edition at Laguna National’s World Classic Course in June 2014.
About The Masters Course
The award-winning Masters Course is best known for hosting world class golfers such as Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Dougherty and Vijay Singh. From 2002 through 2007, the Masters Course served as host of the European Tour’s Singapore Masters.
Ranked amongst the top courses in the world by Golf Digest International and Asian Golf Monthly, the Masters Course is characterised by a beautiful parkland landscape as it administers a stern test of golf. The Masters Course is over 7109 yards from the Championship Tees with a par of 72. The course rating is 74.0 and has a slope rating of 144.