Thongchai Shines in Bali

Sun 01 Mar 2009

Thongchai Shines in Bali


Bali, March 1: Thai star Thongchai Jaidee lifted a record 11th title on the Asian Tour when he won the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open on Sunday.


Thongchai nailed a strong three-under-par 69 for a winning total of 12-under-par 276 at the New Kuta Golf Resort.


As a result of his success, Thongchai walked away with the top prize of US$208,330 and rises to second place on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit.


"It's a great feeling. I would like to thank my fans, especially the people in Bali as they have been nice. It's my first time in Bali and I've been enjoying myself. I'm very happy to win here," said the two-time Asian Tour number one.


It marked a memorable week for Thongchai who emerged as the first player to win 11 titles on the Asian Tour. He had previously won the 2008 Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open which had matched compatriot Thaworn Wiratchant in the total number of wins on the Asian Tour before his record feat this week.


England's Simon Dyson shot a 69 and finished in a tie for second place two strokes behind the champion alongside Sweden's Alexander Noren who carded a 70 and England's Steve Webster who posted a 68.


Backed by accurate putting and steady driving, overnight leader Thongchai remained in prime position by firing four birdies in the first seven holes. Despite picking bogeys on the eighth and 14th holes, the former paratrooper bounced back with a birdie on the 16th and closed in with a par for the win.


"It was very hot and my face is sunburned. I've never seen my face like this before. I'm used to playing under the heat back home but this week it was extremely hot. The greens here are also very different and I have to read it well to keep the scores low. But this is a great win for me and I would like to dedicate this to my family," added the champion.


England's Dyson, who was the 2006 winner, birdied the 16th and 18th holes to finish in a tie for second place.


"I just needed a bit of luck and I didn't really get it. But I'm probably playing the best golf I've ever played. I think I only missed two fairways and two greens over the past two days. So I know my game's in good enough shape. Hopefully I can keep it up," said Dyson.


India's Jyoti Randhawa shot a 70 and was pleased to end his week in joint seventh place alongside England's Simon Griffiths who posted a 71.


"I could have played better but ending with a top-10 finish over here, I'll take it. It's been a good week and I'm looking forward to more strong finishes this year," said the New Delhi-based Randhawa.


Indonesia's number one golfer Rory Hie posted his third straight 72 and ended his campaign in a tie for 32nd place.


"I've been hitting the ball great. There were a couple of three putts on the back nine which spoilt my round but I'm happy. It's been a good week for me. I didn't play bad and I made the cut which was my main priority," said the Asian Tour's Qualifying School graduate.



Leading final round scores

276 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 71-69-67-69

278 - Steve Webster (ENG) 69-69-72-68, Simon Dyson (ENG) 68-71-70-69, Alexander Noren (SWE) 69-73-66-70

279 - Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP) 71-72-71-65, Richard Bland (ENG) 72-71-66-70

280 - Simon Khan (ENG) 68-76-68-68, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 74-70-66-70, Simon Griffiths (ENG) 70-70-69-71

281 - Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 69-76-70-66, Jason Knutzon (USA) 72-70-70-69

282 - Ignacio Garrido (ESP) 70-71-74-67, Anthony Kang (USA) 70-71-70-71, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 69-73-70-70, Jeppe Huldahl (DEN) 73-66-70-73

283 - Gaurav Ghei (IND) 72-68-74-69, Bryan Saltus (USA) 70-72-72-69, Pelle Edberg (SWE) 74-71-69-69, Daniel Chopra (SWE) 73-71-70-69, Digvijay Singh (IND) 69-72-71-71, Scott Drummond (SCO) 71-69-69-74

284 - Michael Hoey (IRL) 71-73-73-67, Darren Beck (AUS) 71-71-72-70, Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 71-74-69-70, Angelo Que (PHI) 64-76-73-71, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 71-70-71-72, Gary Murphy (IRL) 70-72-71-71, Tony Carolan (AUS) 68-74-71-71, Ross Mcgowan (ENG) 69-71-69-75


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 Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.