Queen's Cup rewind: Thaworn reigns in Samui

Mon 10 Jun 2013

Queen's Cup rewind: Thaworn reigns in Samui

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June 10: The Asian Tour takes a look back at last year's Queen's Cup where Thaworn Wiratchant claimed his 13th Asian Tour title.
At the start of the week, all talk was about Thaworn Wiratchant.
He had won twice on the domestic Thai circuit and claimed another title in neighbouring Laos in the past month to enter the Queen’s Cup as the hot favourite.
A return to the testing Santiburi Samui Country Club on the holiday isle of Samui often brings out the best in Thaworn as he won at the venue in 2008. So, it wasn’t surprising when Thaworn’s name popped up at the top of the leaderboard on day two.
However, several worthy challengers emerged at the Queen’s Cup which forced Thaworn to work hard in his quest to end a two-year title drought on the Asian Tour.
Bangladeshi Siddikur, whose career first top-10 in Asia was recorded in Samui, was in top form with his straight-shooting game serving him well on the tight Samui layout. Then, there was 2011 Asian Tour number one Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines who was lurking around the leaderboard too.
Thai newcomer Varut Chomchalam made his presence felt as well, a third round 66 moving him into the joint third round lead with Siddikur, Thaworn and Filipino Miguel Tabuena.
But ultimately, for a man who has won 12 previous times and has countless years of experience, Thaworn was simply too hard to beat.
A hard-fought three-under-par 68 in the last round, highlighted by a glorious last hole eagle in blustery conditions, propelled Thaworn to a record-equalling 13th Asian Tour title as he won by three shots with his seven-under-par 277 total.
“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,” added the 45-year-old, who earned US$47,550.
Siddikur was chasing hard for his second Tour win but a missed par putt from two feet at the 15th hole while one ahead of Thaworn proved costly in the end. With the door opened, Thaworn raced ahead with a five-foot birdie on 16 before his fine finish with a 12-foot conversion.
“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),” said Thaworn.
Siddikur, who had also missed short putts on 10 and 11, cut a forlorn figure. “I’m really disappointed. I was almost there. Unfortunately, at the last moment, I don’t what happened. On 15, I don’t know what happened. I was gone after that,” he said.
Varut celebrated his first top-10 on the Asian Tour as another young Thai emerged onto the scene. But the stage was left all to Thaworn once more.
Ends