Chinarat Makes History With Double A Victory

Sun 06 Nov 2005

Chinarat Makes History With Double A Victory

Rayong, Thailand, November 6: Thai amateur Chinarat Phadungsil became the youngest winner on the Asian Tour when he won inaugural Double A International Open after a play-off triumph over India's Shiv Kapur on Sunday.

It was a record feat for Chinarat, who fired a superb six-under-par 67 in the final round at St Andrews Hill (2000) Golf Club to tie Kapur before going on to beat the Indian at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off with a birdie on the 18th hole.

Chinarat, the reigning World Junior Champion, is only the third amateur to win a title in Asia and also enters the record book as the youngest winner at the age of 17 years and five days, eclipsing Korea's Kim Dae-sub, who won the 1998 Korean Open, by 78 days.

The 23-year-old Kapur, who had led from the first round, closed with a 72, dropping crucial bogeys on 14 and 18 which forced extra time. The leading duo had finished on 14-under-par 278.

Thailand’s Thonchai Jaidee, the reigning Asian Tour number one, could have joined the play-off but lipped out a birdie attempt from 12 feet on the last hole to settle for third place after signing off with a 72.

“Ï am very happy … I felt very lucky today," said a beaming Chinarat, who was invited by Double A to play in the inaugural US$300,000 event.

"After the first round, I wanted to break my putter because I missed many putts but after spending three hours on the practice green that day, my putting felt good and I felt I could be the champion in the play-off,” said Chinarat, who qualified for next week's HSBC Champions Tournament which will feature Tiger Woods.

After winning the World Junior Championship in San Diego earlier this year, Chinarat reaffirmed his tremendous potential with an outstanding final day performance where he shot eight birdies in the last day, including three sensational closing birdies to force a play-off.

He said the key moment was the birdie on the demanding 204 yards par three 17th hole, the toughest all week at the par 73 St Andrews Hill course which boasts of a first par six hole in a major tour.

 “I did not feel any pressure in the play-off. After a birdie on the 13th hole, I felt good but then I fumbled and bogeyed the 14th. I missed a three foot birdie on the 15th but birdied 16th, 17th and 18th which boosted my confidence,” said Chinarat, who learned the game when he was eight.

“The 17th hole was the key moment because it was the hardest hole on the course. I hit a five wood and it stopped two feet from the cup. I really like the par five 18th hole because I birdied it three times in regulation play and twice in the play-off.”

Both Kapur and Chinarat birdied the first play-off hole on 18 by holing pressure-cooker putts from six feet before the Thai youngster, who was smiling all the way, clinched it by nearly holing out for eagle on the second extra hole with a beautiful chip. Kapur had a 12-foot birdie putt to force a third play-off hole but it broke too much to the left.

Kapur, who has posted his fourth top-10 in a row, was disappointed to lose although he took home the winner's cheque of US$47,250 due to Chinarat's amateur status.

“Of course I am disappointed but Chinarat was fantastic as he held his nerve so well for a youngster. He will definitely be someone to watch out for in the future. I'm happy for him,” said Kapur, who stumbled early with a triple bogey before fighting back with five birdies to stay in contention.

"In the second play-off hole, there was a lot of break in the putt and we didn't expect that it would break by a planet.  Looking back, I stumbled on the last hole in regulation for bogey. I should have gone for the green in two rather than laying up which cost me a bogey.

"However, I can take a lot of positives from here. I went head to head with Thongchai in the last two rounds and this is my fourth straight top-10. I am going to look forward to Vietnam in two weeks time."

Thailand's Thongchai was unlucky not to join the play-off as his birdie putt on the last hole in regulation lipped out. "I hit a good putt but the ball turned right to left instead of left to right which I had thought."

Thailand’s Thammanoon Srirot, Australian Jason Dawes and India's Harmeet Kahlon shared fourth place on 280, two shots behind the winner while Australia's Unho Park was seventh on 281.

Leading final round scores

278 - Chinarat Phadungsil [A] (THA) 73-68-70-67, Shiv Kapur (IND) 66-68-72-72

(Chinarat won play-off in second extra hole)

279 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 67-71-69-72

280 - Harmeet Kahlon (IND) 71-69-71-69, Jason Dawes (AUS) 68-71-71-70, Thammanoon Srirot (THA) 69-68-72-71

281 - Unho Park (AUS) 68-73-72-68

282 - Amandeep Johl (IND) 73-71-68-70

283 - Larry Austin (AUS) 73-69-71-70, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 71-73-69-70, Jochen Lupprian (GER) 71-69-70-73

284 - Gaurav Ghei (IND) 74-71-70-69, Angelo Que (PHI) 69-70-75-70, James Kingston (RSA) 71-73-71-69, Chris Travers (AUS) 72-69-73-70, Scott Strange (AUS) 70-72-70-72, Kenny Walker (SCO) 66-73-71-74

285 - Wang Ter-Chang (TPE) 68-73-74-70, Digvijay Singh (IND) 73-73-69-70, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 69-76-69-71, Steven Tan (MAS) 70-70-72-73, Pat Giles (AUS) 70-71-70-74, Simon Yates (SCO) 70-68-71-76

For further information, please contact Asian Tour's Chuah Choo Chiang or Shenton Gomez at the Double A International Open media centre tel: + 663 8893810. Also, visit for Live Scoring this week.