Thongchai secures dramatic win in Sweden

Mon 02 Jun 2014

Thongchai secures dramatic win in Sweden

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June 2: EurAsia Cup Asian captain Thongchai Jaidee secured his second tournament victory on European soil when he defeated European Ryder Cup hopefuls Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher in a play-off at the Nordea Masters on Sunday.
The Thai star, the only man to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns and voted recently by his peers as the Tour’s Player of the Decade, fired a brilliant closing round of seven-under-par 65 at PGA Sweden National to tie with Dubuisson and Gallacher on 16-under-par 272.
In the first play-off hole, the former paratrooper produced a magnificent third shot to three feet to set up his winning birdie and end a two-year title drought following his last triumph at the 2012 ISPS HANDA Wales Open.
A host of players – including world number two and local favourite Henrik Stenson – saw their chances of victory come and go.
Thongchai, who captained Team Asia to a memorable draw with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia in March, set the clubhouse mark after carding six birdies and an eagle on the 11th hole, and then waited for the last four groups to make their way down the par five last hole.
Frenchman Dubuisson had a birdie look for an outright victory in regulation play on the 18th hole but missed his attempt.
The victory propelled Thongchai to 37th in the world, the highest in his illustrious career, after starting the week in 54th position.
“It is a special week for me, to win a trophy outside of Asia for the second time. I keep performing better. I thought top-10 this week was my goal, and then to get in the play-off and win was special,” said the Thai, who has registered three top-10s this season.
“I started very well on the first three holes and then came back well on the back nine. The key was my putting. I was nervous the last few holes - 16, 17 and 18 are tough holes – but 16 under was good enough for a play-off."
Thongchai's triumph is the fifth victory by a EurAsia Cup team member. India's Anirban Lahiri, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit, won the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Open, Japan's Koumei Oda was triumphant at the Kansai Open, Kim Hyung-sung of Korea was victorious at the Crowns while Europe captain Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Spanish Open recently.