Lucky No. 13 for Thaworn

Sun 17 Jun 2012

Lucky No. 13 for Thaworn

  • SHARE

Samui, Thailand, June 17: Thai star Thaworn Wiratchant secured a record-equaling 13th Asian Tour title with a battling three-shot victory at the Queen’s Cup on Sunday.


The 45-year-old veteran held off the combined challenges from Bangladeshi Siddikur and reigning Asian number one Juvic Pagunsan, clinching his first title in nearly two years with a glorious eagle at the last hole for a three-under-par 68 at a blustery Santiburi Samui Country Club.


Thaworn, who was also victorious in Samui in the 2008 Bangkok Airways Open, matched countryman Thongchai Jaidee’s record number of triumphs on the region’s elite circuit with a winning total of seven-under-par 277 and earned US$47,550.


Siddikur, chasing a second Asian Tour title, missed a costly par putt from two feet at the 15th hole while he was one ahead of Thaworn and could not prevent the Thai hero from racing home to victory with a five-foot birdie on 16 before his 12-foot eagle conversion at the 18th hole.


Pagunsan closed with a solid 68 to finish tied second in what is the 11th leg of this season’s Asian Tour.


The week belonged to Thaworn, who entered the Queen’s Cup in hot form after winning two domestic tournaments and another in Laos over the past month. “This means a lot as it’s the first time I have won the Queen’s Cup as an Asian Tour event,” said a delighted Thaworn.


“There was pressure from the first tee as I didn’t hit a good tee shot and made bogey. I’m very happy as I have worked hard in the past few weeks. My experience helps with the mental game. It helps me calm down and not get nervous. I can control that.”


Tied for the third round lead with Siddikur, countryman Varut Chomchalam, who eventually finished tied sixth after a 73 and Filipino teenager Miguel Tabuena, who settled for joint 10th after a 76, Thaworn battled the elements and a dogged Siddikur all day.

The shot of the day came at the fourth hole. After hitting a drive which ended on the buggy path, Thaworn's nearest point of relief was on stony ground. After placing his ball, the short-game wizard then pulled out a mid-iron from his bag and struck a magnificent approach to 12 feet which he sank for his first birdie of the day.

But his experience came through in the end. “This week, it was tiring, it was tough. You fight with the course and conditions. The turning point was the 15th hole when Siddikur missed his putt. Any time you have a chance, you have to make birdie and I did (on 16).


“On 18, I was teeing off first and I couldn’t afford to make any mistake. I hit a good drive and I was quite confident. I could then smile after that,” said Thaworn, who was decked in his trademark all-black Sunday outfit.


The straight-hitting Siddikur, who achieved his career first top-10 in the Queen’s Cup two years ago, was disappointed his putter went cold on the back nine. He missed a short par putt on 10 and another makeable birdie chance on 11 but his title hopes eventually ended with the bad miss on 15.


“I’m really disappointed. I was almost there. Unfortunately, the last moment, I don’t what happened. On 15, I don’t know what happened. I was gone after that. I couldn’t make birdie,” said Siddikur.


“I was trying to be aggressive but my ball striking was a bit off even though I was in the lead after 13 holes. I just played my own game, fairway, greens, fairway greens, but messed up on the greens.”


Pagunsan produced some glorious golf to move into contention but was eventually forced to settle for tied second place. “It’s a great round. The winds were too strong. You just have to keep your focus on every shot. That’s what I did today,” said the smooth-swinging Filipino.


 


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 4 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):


277 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 70-67-72-68.


280 - Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) 75-65-72-68, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 70-68-71-71.


281 - Himmat RAI (IND) 70-72-72-67, Guido VAN DER VALK (NED) 70-72-69-70.


282 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 69-75-69-69, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 71-68-72-71, Varut CHOMCHALAM (THA) 72-71-66-73.


284 - Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA) 67-74-73-70.


285 - Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 76-70-75-64, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 67-70-72-76.


286 - Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 71-73-71-71, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 68-72-74-72, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 68-73-70-75, Jonathan MOORE (USA) 72-72-67-75.


287 - Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 73-69-71-74.


About Bangkok Airways Co., Ltd.


Bangkok Airways (www.bangkokair.com), 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 www.asiantour.com