Record 14th Win for Thaworn

Sat 08 Sep 2012

Record 14th Win for Thaworn


Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia, September 8: Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant claimed a record 14th Asian Tour title after cruising to a three-shot victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Saturday.

The 45-year-old Thaworn cemented his status as one of Asia’s golf greats by shooting a three-under-par 69 in the final round for a winning total of 16-under-par 272 at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.


India’s rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar settled for second place in the RM1.2 million (approximately US$395,000) event after signing off with a 66 while Vietnam’s Michael Tran (68) capped a memorable week by finishing tied third with Bangladeshi Siddikur (66) and Spaniard Javi Colomo (67), four back of the champion.

“I’m very glad to win this tournament,” said Thaworn, who pocketed US$60,900 for his record triumph.

“When I played in the practice round, I thought I would have a disadvantage on the par fives but I holed a few birdies and my confidence started to build.

“The first time I joined the Asian Tour, I couldn’t make the cut. I never thought I would come this far. After I won my first title (1996 Sabah Masters in Malaysia), I thought I could win more and I kept practising more and more to make myself better.”

Holding a three-shot overnight lead, the unorthodox swinging Thaworn put some daylight between himself and the chasing pack with four birdies in his opening seven holes. Bogeys on nine and 10 saw Bhullar cut the lead down to three but Thaworn responded like a true champion with birdies on 12 and 13 to eventually stroll to the 18th hole which he bogeyed.


“I got off to a good start but after playing for a while, I started to feel tired and couldn’t control my iron shots,” said Thaworn, who now has one more title than countryman Thongchai Jaidee.

“As I get older, I will practice harder and get more experience. I don’t have a complete or perfect swing but I practiced hard to ensure I could maintain the same swing. I believe in my swing.”

Bhullar, who was searching for his third Asian Tour win, tried to apply some pressure on the leader with an outward 31 but a bogey on 11 when he missed a short putt put the brakes on his charge.

“Thaworn was too far ahead. If we played in the same group as him, it may have made a difference. But he’s an experienced guy as he knows how to close the deal. Congratulations to him,” said the 24-year-old.

“I hit it really good, hit 17 greens in regulations and just missed one fairway. My game is coming back. I feel the time is right to click (win) another one. Just be patient and wait for another one.”

Surprise package Tran, who was thinking of quitting the game after a lack of success, produced a superb inward 31 after touring his opening nine with two double bogeys and three birdies.


“The two doubles really hurt me. It should not have been doubles. When I made the turn, I saw I had no chance to win. I just said to myself ‘enjoy the last nine holes’ and that’s what I did. I stopped trying to force things to happen,” said the 22-year-old Tran, Vietnam’s only player on the Asian Tour.

“This should give me some hope to get into the events later like the Thailand Golf Championship and Iskandar Johor Open. If I can get my card by finishing in the top-60 (of the Order of Merit), it will change my decision.”

After making the halfway cut right on the number, Siddikur, Bangladesh’s first winner in Asia, capped a memorable comeback with two successive 66s to finish joint third.

“It was a great round for me,” said Siddikur, who was bogey-free. “I was very tired on the first two days as I was a little bit jetlagged (from playing in Switzerland last week). My putting was really good in the last two days.”

Colomo, a Qualifying School graduate, continued to impress with his third top-five finish of the season after a round that included six birdies against a lone bogey. “It was a fantastic week even though I feel a bit tired from my flight from Spain. I was playing well the last few months. But I need to improve on my putter because I lost all my confidence with the putter.

"I have to train my putting but in general I feel confident in my game. It will be fantastic to have a victory on the Asian Tour because there are a lot of good players here,” he said.


Scores after round 4 of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters 2012 being played at the par 72, 6977 Yards Kota Permai GCC course (a- denotes amateur):

272 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 66-69-68-69.

275 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 68-71-70-66.

276 - SIDDIKUR (BAN) 73-71-66-66, Javi COLOMO (ESP) 68-69-72-67, Michael TRAN (VNM) 67-68-73-68.

278 - Jason KNUTZON (USA) 72-68-70-68, Jesper KENNEGARD (SWE) 70-69-67-72.

279 - Mars PUCAY (PHI) 73-71-68-67, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 67-69-73-70.

280 - Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 72-70-71-67, Kieran PRATT (AUS) 67-71-71-71, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 70-70-69-71, Jonathan MOORE (USA) 67-71-70-72.

281 - LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 73-69-71-68.

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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.