Thongchai Triumphs in Vietnam

Sun 07 Dec 2008

Thongchai Triumphs in Vietnam


Ho Chi Minh, December 7: Thai star Thongchai Jaidee ended his two year title drought after a thrilling play-off triumph at the Hana Bank Vietnam Masters on Sunday.

Thongchai holed a five foot putt for par in the third play-off hole for his ninth Asian Tour title at the Vietnam Golf and Country Club.

As a result of his success, Thongchai walked away with the winner's cheque of US$79,250.

"This win is dedicated to my family, especially my two days old son who was born on December 5th. He has given me inspiration and the drive to win," said the former Asian Tour number one.

In regulation play, Thongchai fired a five-under-par 67 for a 15-under-par 273 total to force a three way play-off with Davies and Dodt who had both completed their rounds with birdies on the 18th hole.

Davies missed a three feet birdie putt in the first play-off hole as all three players parred and headed back to the 18th tee for the second play-off battle.

Dodt then found the rough off the tee in the second play-off hole and his run ended when his chip at the edge of the green slipped by, leaving Thongchai and Davies to return to the tee after both players nailed birdies.

In the third play-off hole, Davies struck a wayward drive and found the bunker. A miss hit then proved costly for Davies as Thongchai, who had found the fairway, produced a solid chip which left the ball within five feet away for a par putt and the win.
"I played well even in regulation play. But the play-off was intense. Rhys was unlucky but I took advantage and I'm extremely delighted. It's been two years since my last win and to win again brings back a fantastic feeling," admitted Thongchai," who had previously triumphed at the 2006 Volvo Masters of Asia.

Welsman Davies was pleased with his overall performance in Ho Chi Minh despite the play-off defeat.

"I'm pleased as I played well. But in the third play-off hole, the ball was buried quite deep in and I had a miss hit. It was unfortunate," said the Asian Tour rookie.

Australia's Dodt, who was ranked 72nd on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit prior to this week, was happy to have sealed his card for next season. He shot a blistering course record of 63 to book his place in the play-off.

"The positive side of things is that I have secured my playing rights for next year. It was a good week. I was nervous heading out to the play-off but credit to Thongchai and Rhys who played well.

"I had a great run on the back nine in regulation play. I fired an eagle on the 10th hole  followed by four straight birdies. That was a nice comeback," said Dodt, who produced his fifth top-10 finishes this year and rises to 51st position on the money list.

With an eight iron, Australia's David Gleeson shot an ace at the par three 181 yards 13th hole while Filipino Frankie Minoza produced an accurate shot using a nine iron for a hole-in-one at the par three 150 yards third hole for the tournament's fourth hole-in-one.

Minoza carded a 71 for a 281 total to finish in joint 15th place while Gleeson posted a 70 to end his campaign in a tie for 58th place.

Leading fourth round scores

273 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 67-69-70-67, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 70-71-69-63, Rhys Davies (WAL) 67-70-70-66
276 - Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 72-65-71-68
277 - Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 65-69-72-71
278 - Scott Barr (AUS) 66-72-74-66, Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 71-70-68-69, Sattaya Supupramai (THA) 69-70-70-69, Lam Chih Bing (SIN) 73-69-67-69
279 - Artemio Murakami (PHI) 67-69-71-72, Young Nam (KOR) 67-70-70-72
280 - Joo Hewng-chul (KOR) 74-69-71-66, Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 66-70-73-71, Pijit Petchkasem (THA) 69-70-69-72
281 - S. Siva Chandhran (MAS) 71-70-69-71, Frankie Minoza (PHI) 69-72-69-71, Pyo Suk-min (KOR) 66-67-73-75

About Hana Bank Vietnam Masters 2008

The Hana Bank Vietnam Masters 2008 is a full-field Asian Tour sanctioned event and will be held at the host venue, Vietnam Golf and Country Club in Ho Chi Minh city from Dec 4 to 7, 2008. Title sponsored by Hana Bank, one of the largest bank in Korea, the US$500,000 event will welcome the best players from the Asian Tour and will be featured on ESPN STAR Sports the following week on an one-hour highlights shows and Asian Tour Weekly half-hour magazine show. TV times will be available on The Hana Bank Vietnam Masters 2008 is organized and promoted by BHT Asia Limited with full support from the Vietnam Golf Association. Other sponsors include Pepsi (Official Water), Sofitel Plaza Saigon (Official Hotel) Vietnam Airlines (Official Airline), Srixon (Official Ball) Carlsberg (Official Beer), and Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider). 
About Hana Bank
Hana Bank, established in 1991, is one of the largest banks in Korea and a staunch supporter of professional golf worldwide. The Hana Bank Vietnam Masters 2008 will be the second successive year that Hana Bank is returning as the title sponsor. Hana Bank is also a major sponsor of the Korean Open, the national open of Korea, which is part of the Asian Tour schedule and also the official sponsor of the Hana Bank-Kolon Championship, an LPGA event in Korea. Since 2007, Hana Bank has been supporting multicultural families including a number of Vietnamese immigrants in Korea. Through this Hana Bank Vietnam Masters 2008 sponsorship, it further hopes to enhance its campaign for cultural exchange among Asian countries.
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), Sofitel (Official Hotel), TIME and FORTUNE (Corporate Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.