Terry-Fic Pilkadaris Wins Crowne Plaza Open

Sun 24 Oct 2004

Terry-Fic Pilkadaris Wins Crowne Plaza Open


Shanghai, October 24: Riding a wave of brilliant form that ensured his first Asian Tour title seemed just a matter of time, Terry Pilkadaris won the US$200,000 Crowne Plaza Open, Shanghai 2004 today.
Pilkadaris, the overnight leader, fired an even-par 72 in the final round to record a one-shot victory at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club ahead of Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit while American Gary Rusnak and Australian Marcus Both shared third a further two shots back.

The leading mainland Chinese player at the inaugural event was veteran Zheng Wen-gen, who tied for 23rd at three-over 291.
After tying for fourth at the Kolon Korean Open and finishing second at the Taiwan Open in his last three starts, Pilkadaris was delighted to secure his breakthrough victory. "The feeling is great and just one of relief. I was really disappointed after the Korean Open. I played great for 68 holes and let it slip with one loose shot on the last day.
"However, I have been knocking on the door.
Taiwan was a great fightback and showed I was playing well," said Pilkadaris, who finished with a four-day total of eight-under-par 280.
Pilkadaris pocketed US$32,300 for first place at the par-72, 7,255-yard Tomson layout, a handy windfall after his marriage just three weeks ago in
Melbourne. The victor paid tribute to his psychologist wife, Monique, who will join the first-time winner tomorrow evening in southern China
for the Sanya Open where they will no doubt celebrate in style.
"As soon as we heard the tournament was going to be at the same place as the BMW Asian Open (where he tied 17th), I was really confident. In fact, I told Monique that I would win here.
"We have been working really hard for more than 18 months to get my head right and thinking the right things. Today it really paid off," said the winner.
Those efforts were very much part of a team effort. Attempts to add a draw and gain extra distance to his game with coach Steve Brodie in Melbourne, plus work with Dr Tina Maio, an osteopath, were both crucial in his recent form. "It has all just come together in the last few weeks and really helped me play well. My head is in the game, my body is right and the extra distance really helped me attack the par-fives today in the wind."
As befell 36-hole front-runner Mizoguchi yesterday, Pilkadaris found the opening holes a difficult test. Loose drives on both the first two holes saw him register a pair of bogeys. Coupled with a Mizoguchi birdie at the par-five second, there was quickly a three-way tie for the lead at six-under, with Both, who will defend his Sanya Open crown next week, also in the mix.
Pilkadaris fought back to notch a birdie at the fifth, made crucial par saves at both the eighth and ninth and nailed his third shot to mere inches at the par-five ninth to return his score to level par and his lead to two shots. From there, a back nine of nine straight pars was enough to secure the win.
Boonchu (above), who at 48 years of age is enjoying a superb season in
, continued the strong form of both himself and his Thai colleagues in 2004 with a final 68 for outright second. It was a fifth top-10 of the season for the winner of this years Thai Open, the eldest victor in Asian Tour history.
Although he enjoyed the warmer conditions of the weekend, a fickle putter prevented Boonchu from staging a further challenge. "I hit the ball really well all week, but did not putt well on any of the days. I said yesterday that I would not be able to win unless I putted better and that was what happened. I missed putts on both nines that I really needed," said Boonchu.
Most notably, a significant miss came at 17. Boonchu lipped out with his birdie attempt, which after he holed a 20 footer for birdie at the par-five last, something Pilkadaris saw from the fairway could have proven enough to catch the Australian.

The 17th also proved pivotal for Both, who dumped his tee-shot in the water at the par-three, allowing Pilkadaris some valuable breathing space. Both had challenged hard on the back nine, birdies at 11 and 13 putting the pressure on his countryman. However, in the end it was not enough to overcome his room-mate this week at the Crowne Plaza Shanghai.
The Asian Tour stays in
China next week, moving south to the holiday resort island of Hainan for the second Sanya Open. The in-form Both will defend his title at the US$250,000 tournament.


Leading final round scores

280 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 67-69-72-72

281 - Boonchu Ruangkit (THA) 68-72-73-68

283 - Gary Rusnak (USA) 70-74-69-70, Marcus Both (right) (AUS) 69-72-69-73

284 - Craig Kamps (RSA) 67-73-76-68, Anthony Summers (AUS) 66-72-75-71

286 - Greg Hanrahan (USA) 70-74-71-71, Satoshi Tomiyama (JPN) 72-71-72-71, Somkiat Srisanga (THA) 64-74-75-73, Eiji Mizoguchi (JPN) 66-69-76-75

287 - Hendrik Buhrmann (RSA) 71-73-72-71

288 - Amandeep Johl (IND) 74-72-72-70, Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 70-74-73-71, David Gleeson (AUS) 72-72-71-73, Nico Van Rensburg (RSA) 73-73-68-74, David Kang (KOR) 68-72-73-75

289 - Lai Hung-lin (TPE) 72-74-72-71, Adam Fraser (AUS) 72-71-73-73, Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 71-72-70-76

290 - Anura Rohana (SRI) 71-75-73-71, Digvijay Singh (IND) 69-76-72-73, Gerald Rosales (PHI) 67-72-75-76

291 - Yoshinobu Tsukada (JPN) 72-72-76-71, Zheng Wen-gen (CHN) 71-76-73-71, Anthony Kang (USA) 68-75-75-73, Pat Giles (AUS) 71-71-75-74

292 - Stephen Lindskog (SWE) 73-74-73-72, Adam Groom (AUS) 69-74-75-74, Rafael Ponce (ECU) 73-71-73-75, Prom Meesawat (THA) 71-75-70-76