Kiradech enjoys top-15 finish #TheMasters

Mon 11 Apr 2016

Kiradech enjoys top-15 finish #TheMasters

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By V. Krishnaswamy
Augusta, Georgia, April 10: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat’s career continued to rise after he fired a final round of two-under-par 70 to finish a commendable tied 15th in his Masters Tournament debut on Sunday for his best finish yet in a Major championship.
The burly 26-year-old Asian Tour star saved his best for last with his first under-par card at a challenging Augusta National Golf Club where his round included five birdies against three bogeys for a week’s total of three-over-par 291.
The other two Asian Tour stars, Anirban Lahiri (75) ended joint 42nd at 295 and bettering last year’s joint 49th outing in his debut while Thongchai Jaidee, playing his fifth Masters, had another frustrating 78 that saw him finish the week in joint 57th place.
England’s Danny Willett won the Masters Tournament by two shots with a blemish-free 67 for his first Major victory. Defending champion Jordan Spieth of the United States, who led by five at one point, stumbled on the back nine for a 73 to tie for second place with another Englishman Lee Westwood, who closed with a 69.
"Hero Indian Open - Day Four"Kiradech, who shot earlier rounds of 72, 72 and 77, had a sedate even par front nine with two birdies on second and eighth holes, both par-fives, while he bogeyed the fourth and seventh holes.
The big-hitting Thai took further advantage of the par fives on the back nine with two more birdies and also picked up another shot at the famous par three 16th hole with a long birdie conversion much to the delight of the Augusta National patrons.
Kiradech’s previous best finish at a Major was equal 25th on his debut at the 2013 PGA Championship. He had arrived at the Masters in good form following his tied sixth finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month.
Overall, Kiradech scored heavily on Par-fives, where he was nine-under with one eagle and nine birdies and two bogeys.
Kiradech said: “I enjoyed playing at Augusta National and it was a great experience. I want to come here again and again and I love this course. The conditions were tough but I played well except on third round, when the winds were very difficult.”
Lahiri, starting the day at five-over, courted disaster on the third hole following a triple bogey and had further bogeys on the fourth and seventh holes. But he played his last 11 holes superbly with two birdies and parred the rest to finish with a 75.
The reigning Asian Tour number one said: “The two triples (one each on the first and last day) and not being able to score off the par fives cost me something like 10 shots and that is the difference being in the top-10 or somewhere in the 40s. That should explain it all. I played well in patches and that was not enough.”