Phuket (Thailand), May 28 (IANS) Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol of Thailand endured a nervous finish to close with a three-under-par 67, completing a wire-to-wire victory for his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the inaugural Singha Phuket Open here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Thai, who held a four-shot advantage heading into the final round, dropped two bogeys in his closing three holes to sign off with a four-day total of 27-under-par 253, claiming a one-shot victory in the two million baht ($58,140) ADT event.
He had superb scores of of 62, 61 and 63 in the earlier rounds before heading into the final 18 holes on Sunday.
Newly-crowned Asian Tour champion Rattanon Wannasrichan of Thailand gave himself a fighting chance for a back-to-back win as he rolled in a birdie putt from one club length on the last to close with a 64 and take second place on his own at the highly-rated Laguna Golf Phuket.
Thai star Sutijet Kooratanapisan stole the limelight by producing a magnificent 59 to grab third place on 256. His sizzling round of 59, highlighted by one eagle and nine birdies, would have been a new record on the ADT if not for the preferred lies ruling in place.
Chanachok, who secured his Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School in January and landed his first professional win on the local circuit in March, continued to make it a season to remember by sealing his first ADT title on home soil this week.
“I got really nervous towards the end, especially after dropping two shots. I didn’t drive the ball well today. I kind of lost my game plan on the last few holes but luckily, I was still able to par the last to secure my title.
“This win means a lot to me. It will give me a lot of confidence heading into the rest of the season. I am also happy because this win will boost my world ranking,” Chanachok said.
Chanachok took home the winner’s prize purse of $8,697 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, courtesy of his victory. The top six players and ties will also receive OWGR points based on a sliding scale.
Despite surmounting a strong challenge on the final day with seven birdies against one bogey, Rattanon was magnanimous in defeat and tipped his hat to Chanachok.
“I played solid again. I tried to birdie the last three holes but 16 was too difficult. I gave myself a good chance by making a great birdie on the last. I am very pleased with the way I played despite missing out on the win,” the 21-year-old Rattanon said.
Sutijet, who headed into the final round with a 11-shot deficit, sank a 15-footer for birdie on the last to set a new personal best 18-hole score for himself.
He had fired a scintillating 12-under-par 60 to claim his first ADT title in Malaysia last April.