Overseas watch: Kiradech falters on final day in Turkey

Mon 05 Nov 2018

Overseas watch: Kiradech falters on final day in Turkey


By V. Krishnaswamy in Antalya

Antalya, Turkey, Nov 4: Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat did get off to the kind of a start he wanted, but then lost the momentum and ended with a round of one-over-par 72 that instead of moving him forward, slipped him back as the Turkish Airlines Open came to an end on Sunday.

Kiradech, lying tied-ninth after the third round closed with a four-day total of nine-under-par 275 and finished T-23, which left him somewhat disappointed.

On the other hand, India's Shubhankar Sharma will carry some positive thoughts as he gets set for the next week's event in Johannesburg as he shot a 67 and finished a respectable T-43 as against T-53, which is where he was overnight.

While Sharma at T-43 was the next best Asian after Kiradech, Gavin Green (70), Matt Wallace (72) and Wade Ormsby (73) signed off with matching 280 total and T-47th for the week. Wang Jeunghun (69) was even par 284 for the four rounds and T-60th, while Scott Hend (72) was two-over 286 and T-68th.

Kiradech, Sharma, Green, Wallace and Ormsby are through for next week's Nedbank Challene in Sun City after which the Top-60 players will get to play the season-ending DP World Tour Championships in Dubai.

Meanwhile at the top, Justin Rose won the title in the play-off against overnight leader, China's Li Haotong, who just faltered at the very end, including a three-putt in the play-off hole. after a see-saw battle, the two were tied at 17-under and went into extra holes.

It took Rose nearly 20 years to successfully defend a title, but it took him just eight weeks to get back his World No. 1 ranking, which came as a twin bonus for his triumph at the Turkish Airlines Justin Rose ascended to the World No. 1 ranking once more as he beat beat Li  Open at the Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort.

Rose will be defending another title next month at Indonesia Masters in Jakarta and he confirmed that he will be there and is looking forward to it. He will also play the Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods at the Albany, Bahamas.

Kiradech's planned charge on the final did not happen despite a good start with back-to-back birdies on third and fourth after a momentum losing double bogey on seventh.

He said, "It was a good start with two-under after four and then just hit a bad shot on seventh, pulled my  3-Wood into the cart path and the bush. Bad decision to play the shot in the bush, it didn't go out and then took a relief and made seven. That changed the momentum and I didn't not get much after that. I missed a birdie on 10th, didn't get a birdie on 11th and on 16th it was plugged in the bunker. The golf was not great. Anyway these things can happen, so lets next week."

Sharma was happy to take a good final round as he took off for the next event, the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa. He said, "I think I played quite well. Can't really look at the past (last three days), good that it finally happened, a decent round. Something good to take from this week for South Africa. I saw it on TV last years, the same event. I won in South Africa, not too far away, so good memories."

On his play on Sunday, he added, "It was a decent round today. I missed a few putts, missed at least two inside eight feet. A few more great ones did not go in. Got out to a good start, made birdie on first, the 11th, then 13th and another on 15th, so I was three-under after five which is always great. After that i just kept hitting it pretty close, could make those putts. I felt hit some decent putts, which just broke too much or never stopped. Otherwise it was a good round. I was happy to get that round in even if on the last day."

Gavin Green was happy to get into next week into South Africa which gave him a chance to get to Dubai. He said, "It was a very up and down week. I had an injection on my wrist on Tuesday, it was hurting and I was recovering from it. I hit it well off the tee but I had really rough short game this week, and it killed me. Positive thing is into next week I will have a chance to get into Dubai."

On the season as such, he added, "It has been a successful year, coming from Asian Tour; keeping my card, solid year. I would still like to get into Dubai, just need to get my short game on. It's been letting me down. In such big events, you have to be on, if you want it win and you need all parts of your game to show up. This year has been great and I can't wait for next season already, but was to finish strongly."