Pratt Wins Myanmar Thriller

Sun 05 Feb 2012

Pratt Wins Myanmar Thriller

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Yangon, February 5: Kieran Pratt of Australia birdied the second play-off hole to win his first Asian Tour title at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan on Sunday.


Pratt, Adam Blyth of Australia and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand were tied on 15-under-par 273 in regulation play which forced a three-way play-off at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.


Kiradech, who closed with a 72, was the first to bow out after narrowly missing his birdie putt from 35 feet as Pratt and Blyth birdied the 18th hole at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club.


But it was Pratt who was the last man standing, making another birdie on the same hole as Blyth made par after his tee shot found water.


“Fantastic. It feels great to win the first event of the year. Obviously you want to get off to a fast start but to win is obviously better,” smiled Pratt, who closed with a four-under-par 68.


Pratt, once ranked 15th in the World Golf Amateur Ranking, was five shots off the lead after the third round but made a superb charge highlighted by an eagle-three on the 18th hole which he sank from 15 feet.


Playing three flights behind the leading flight, Pratt had an agonizing wait in the clubhouse before the play-off was confirmed.


“I felt like I was a long way from the lead but walking up the 14, 15 and 16 holes, I kind of felt like the leaders were going nowhere. I told myself if I could get a couple of birdies on the way back, I could force a play-off and then I eagled the 18th hole,” said the 23-year-old.


“I had to wait for Kiradech to par the 18th hole in the clubhouse and that was quite a nervous wait. It was pretty cool and unexpected to sneak into the play-off,” added Pratt, who is playing in his second year on the Asian Tour after earning his card at Qualifying School.


Blyth overcame an eight-shot deficit with a sensational round of 65 to join the play-off. This was his third runner-up finish on the Asian Tour since 2007.  


“I was never expecting to have a chance to win. I’m disappointed that I had the opportunity to win and didn’t. But I’m still happy with the outcome and how I played. It is a great way to start the season,” said Blyth, who is still searching for his first Asian Tour victory.


He rued his tee shot on the second play-off hole which bounced off the cart-path and into the water.


“I hit it my tee shot probably about 20 or 25 yards further maybe through adrenaline. It hit the cart path and it bounced over the trees and into the water. A bit of unluckiness there but I made a good five to put the pressure on Kieran,” said Blyth.


Kiradech, known for his grip-it and rip-it style of play, made 13 straight pars before trading one birdie and bogey on holes 14 and 15 respectively to miss his chance of winning a second Asian Tour title.


“I’m pleased with myself. I was hitting it very well but couldn’t sink my putts. I three putted for bogey on the 15th hole and that was a big mistake. That was the turning point. Overall I’m still happy and confident for the year,” said the


There was heartbreak for overnight leader Scott Hend of Australia, who held a comfortable two-shot lead after the eighth hole but shot a quadruple bogey on nine, where his ball found water twice.

 

He finished in tied fourth place after a 74 with Thai rising star Arnond Vongvanij, who is making his Asian Tour debut.


Scores after round 4 of the Zaykabar Myanmar Open 2012 being played at the par 72, 7218 Yards Royal Mingalardon GCC course (a- denotes amateur):

273 - Kieran PRATT (AUS) 70-69-66-68, Adam BLYTH (AUS) 71-68-69-65, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 66-66-69-72.

(Kieran Pratt wins on second play-off hole)

274 - Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 67-69-71-67, Scott HEND (AUS) 64-67-69-74.

275 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 68-73-71-63, Anthony KANG (USA) 72-69-68-66, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 72-67-66-70, Ben FOX (USA) 64-69-69-73, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 68-66-68-73.

276 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 67-72-72-65, Makoto INOUE (JPN) 72-66-69-69, PARK Hyun-bin (KOR) 69-71-66-70, Kodai ICHIHARA (JPN) 67-67-70-72.

277 - Javi COLOMO (ESP) 71-70-70-66, Jesper KENNEGARD (SWE) 71-63-74-69, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 67-71-70-69, Martin ROMINGER (SUI) 67-70-70-70, Jonathan MOORE (USA) 70-67-67-73.

278 - PARK Jung-ho (KOR) 68-73-69-68, Niall TURNER (IRL) 69-68-72-69, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 68-67-72-71, Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 64-70-72-72, Tetsuji HIRATSUKA (JPN) 69-66-67-76.


Ends.


About the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan

The Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan is a US$300,000 full field Asian Tour event which will be staged at the highly-rated Royal Mingalardon Golf & Country Club from February 2-5, 2012 and is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Myanmar Professional Golf Association. Myanmar’s national championship will return to the Asian Tour Schedule after a year’s lapse. It was inaugurated in 1996 and the list of champions includes illustrious names such as three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, countryman Boonchu Ruangkit, American Anthony Kang, South African James Kingston, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Keng-chi and Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka who won the event in 2010. Sponsors include Zaykabar as the title sponsor and Air Bagan as the presenting sponsor. The other co-sponsors are A1 Construction Co. Ltd, Alpine Purified Drinking Water, Asia Metal Group of Companies, Srixon, Tiger Beer, Canon and 100Plus while the hole-in-one sponsors are the Zaykabar Group of Companies, CEO (Cost Effectiveness Oriented Group Co. Ltd) and

Aung Hein Min Co. Ltd (Sumitomo).

 

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), J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.