Day of High Drama

Sat 16 Jun 2012

Day of High Drama


Samui, Thailand, June 16: Thai ace Thaworn Wiratchant uncharacteristically dropped four shots over his last five holes to allow unheralded countryman Varut Chomchalam, Filipino teenager Miguel Tabuena and Siddikur of Bangladesh into a share of the third round lead in the Queen’s Cup on Saturday.

Thaworn, the 2005 Asian Tour number one, was four shots ahead on another tough day at blustery Santiburi Samui Country Club before his game unraveled with some misjudged tee-shots for a one-over-par 72 and three-day total of four-under-par 209.

Varut, 23, produced a superb 66 to charge into the joint lead after starting the day six back while Siddikur, chasing a second win in Asia, rammed in a seven-foot birdie putt at the closing hole for a 71.

Pint-size Tabuena, who has held a share of the lead since day one, overcame a double bogey and two bogeys with three birdies to ensure he has a chance of becoming the fourth youngest winner on the Asian Tour.


At the end, Thaworn, who is chasing a record-equaling 13th Tour victory, was kicking himself for losing his grip on the US$300,000 Queen’s Cup, the 11th leg of this season’s Asian Tour.

“I only have myself to blame,” lamented the 45-year-old, who won at Santiburi Samui in 2008 and was runner-up two years ago. “I didn’t play well on the last three holes. Couldn’t tee off well and when you get into bushes or jungle, it is not good. The double on 16 was also due to a three putt. I tried my best. You need to tee off well here to have a good score.”

The precocious 17-year-old Tabuena has a chance to atone for his near miss at the ICTSI Philippine Open in February where he was in contention but stumbled with a closing 81. After a double bogey on 15, he drained a 20-foot birdie at the next hole to tie for the lead.

“I told myself to finish strong,” said Tabuena, who won two local events back home recently but is chasing a first Asian Tour title. “Hopefully I can use what I learned from it (the Philippine Open) and put it into play here. Just stay patient and keep my routine and not mind the people around me.

“Anything can happen on this course. You just have to hit fairways and greens which is my game plan.”

The Filipino will be 100% focused on his task ahead as he does not have any school work to think about. “I finished my third year high school (recently). Usually I bring a lot of school work on Tour but not this week because I’ve finished all my work,” he smiled.

With good memories spurring Siddikur on as his first career top-10 was achieved in Samui before going on to secure a breakthrough victory in Brunei in 2010, the Bangladeshi converted two crucial birdies on the 13th and 18th holes.

“I saw Thaworn and the other guys missed their shots. I thought I had a good opportunity to get a birdie on the last. I’ll just play my own game and don’t need to do anything exceptional. Since the first day, I’m confident with my game,” said Siddikur, who is currently eighth on the Order of Merit.

The surprise of the day came from 23-year-old Varut, who has never posted a top-10 on the Asian Tour. He stole the thunder with a seven-birdie round against a double bogey to put himself in position for glory.


“This is exciting, this is my big experience. Don’t be afraid. Just go out and play. I’m not afraid and I’ve got nothing to lose,” said Varut.

“My putting was very good, only 23 putts. Everything was perfect. The past few years, I learned about the game by playing on the Asian Tour. I need more practice and I know what to do and have to do.”


The Queen’s Cup, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Thailand PGA, is sponsored by Bangkok Airways, Sport Authority of Thailand, Santiburi Samui Country Club and co-sponsored by Samui Municipal and Tourism Association of Koh Samui, Bangkok Hospital Group, PTT, Kiatnakin Fund Management, Bangkok Bank, Bangkok Insurance, Sabre, Hertz Media partners are The Nation, True Visions, Bangkok Shuho and Elite magazine.

The official hotels for this year’s tournament include Santiburi Resort, Four Seasons Resort, Samui Palm Beach Resort, Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam, Amarin Samui, Samui Buri Resort, Buddy Samui, Sala Samui, Fair House Group, The Sea Samui and Bandara.


Scores after round 3 of the Queen's Cup Bangkok Airways - SAT Samui Golf Tournament being played at the par 71, 6,815 Yards Santiburi GC course (a- denotes amateur):

209 - Varut CHOMCHALAM (THA) 72-71-66, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 70-68-71, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 70-67-72, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 67-70-72.

211 - Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 71-73-67, Jonathan MOORE (USA) 72-72-67, Guido VAN DER VALK (NED) 70-72-69, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 68-73-70, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 71-68-72.

212 - Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) 75-65-72.

213 - Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 75-71-67, Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 69-75-69, Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 73-69-71, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 72-68-73.

214 - Mars PUCAY (PHI) 70-76-68, Himmat RAI (IND) 70-72-72, Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA) 67-74-73, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 68-72-74.

About Bangkok Airways Co., Ltd.

Bangkok Airways (, with the ASIA’S BOUTIQUE AIRLINE slogan, is the first private airline established in Thailand since 1968. Taking off daily with about a hundred flights per day from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok Airways flies travelers from around the world to more than twenty exquisite destinations across Thailand and Asia. To name a few; Samui, Phuket, Trat (Koh Chang), Maldives are amongst the hottest beach selections; whilst Sukhothai, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap (Angkor) are of the world heritage personalities, each of which possesses her unique flair.


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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

For further information, please contact Asian Tour’s Chuah Choo Chiang at tel: +6-12 2172 123 or visit