All Hail King Chan

Sun 06 Dec 2009

All Hail King Chan


Khon Kaen, Thailand, December 6: Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin claimed his maiden Asian Tour victory after winning a drama-filled three-way playoff at the King’s Cup on Sunday.

Chan birdied the second play-off hole from five feet at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club to edge out England’s Nick Redfern and a luckless Simon Yates of Scotland, who missed a three-foot birdie attempt to extend the contest.

The man from Taipei ended his campaign with a final round of two-under-par 70 for a 14-under-par 274 total which was matched by Redfern, who shot a blistering 66 which included an unfortunate double bogey on 17, and Yates, who returned a 68 in the season’s final event.

The trio posted matching pars on the first extra hole but Chan rose to the occasion with an exquisite approach for his winning birdie putt to win the US$47,550 top prize in the King’s Cup presented by Singha and Sports Authority of Thailand.

“I’m feeling ecstatic. I played well throughout the week and I’m really happy. When I was trailing by a few shots with a few holes to play, I thought I didn’t have a chance to win and I just wanted to finish as high as possible,” said Chan, who ended his season in 28th place on the Order of Merit.

Chan, who led for the first three rounds, made a crucial eight foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to draw level with Yates and Redfern. “After Nick double bogeyed the 17th hole, I was back in the tournament. I made a crucial birdie putt on 17 from eight feet to draw level. That was an important moment,” he said.

Redfern was in red-hot form, reeling in eight birdies to open up a two-stroke lead with two holes to play before hitting a tee shot into the par three 17th which got plugged in the greenside bunker. He needed two attempts to escape the sand trap to stumble to a double bogey and fall back into a tie for the lead.

“The incident on 17 didn’t affect me at all because I made a good putt for five and just kept myself going down the last,” said Redfern, who was playing in only his fourth Asian Tour tournament this year.

“Getting tied second is a pretty good result for me. I had 17 good holes but got a little bit unlucky on the 17th hole. Overall it is good, I will be taking back a lot of confidence from this tournament.”

Yates, who recently returned from an injury spell, brilliantly charged into the title hunt but was disappointed to miss his short putt to take the play-off to a third hole.

“It’s disappointing. The last putt broke so hard from right to left and I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was left edge as I saw Chan’s putt earlier and he missed it right and I got confused. So I aimed it in the middle and missed it,” said Yates, who was hoping to win a third Asian Tour title.

“It was still a good week. There were some nerves and it was nice to get that feeling again, especially yesterday when I got on a roll. I can take the positives away from this week.”

India’s Harmeet Kahlon ended his campaign with a 66 to finish tied fourth with Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng who closed with a superb 65 for a 276 total.

Malaysia’s Shaaban Hussin who missed the cut on Friday, amazingly kept his 65th position on the Order of Merit to earn full playing rights for next season by the slimmest of margins.

His closest challengers, Gaurav Ghei of India and Mitchell Brown of Australia finished in 44th and 48th position respectively in the King’s Cup. Ghei ended 66th on the rankings, some US$308 behind Shaaban.

“Oh my gosh, I want to cry,” said a relieved Shaaban when contacted in Kuala Lumpur. “After I got home on Saturday, I just chucked my bags at home and didn’t do anything. I was so sure that the players behind me would overtake me on the Order of Merit as there were only a few thousand dollars behind me. I’m so relieved.”

Leading final round scores

274 - Chan Yih-shin (TPE) 64-73-67-70, Simon Yates (SCO) 71-69-66-68, Nick Redfern (ENG) 74-66-68-66

(Chan wins play-off with birdie on second extra hole)

276 - Harmeet Kahlon (IND) 71-67-72-66, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 70-70-71-65

277 - Kim Dae-hyun (KOR) 70-68-73-66, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 66-72-71-68, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 74-64-68-71, 279 - Mark Purser (NZL) 68-75-65-71

280 - Matthew Griffin (AUS) 72-69-69-70

281 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 70-73-71-67, Neven Basic (AUS) 73-68-70-70

282 - Vasin Sripattranusorn [A] (THA) 71-70-71-70, Ross Bain (SCO) 69-69-71-73

283 - Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 70-71-75-67, Digvijay Singh (IND) 70-73-69-71

284 - Artemio Murakami (PHI) 70-75-70-69, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 71-70-73-70, Thammanoon Srirot (THA) 73-68-71-72, Corey Harris (USA) 69-70-73-72

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 ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore’s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.