Millennium Post

Kiradech wins Malaysian Open

Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat held off a string of star names to snatch his first European Tour title by one stroke at the rain-hit Maybank Malaysia Open on Sunday after posting a two-under 70.

Kiradech blew away a field that had world number three Luke Donald and former Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel in the $2.75 million event.

One ahead of former Masters Tournament winner Schwartzel at the start of the final day, the 23-year-old Thai golfer was joined by, amongst others, three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington and Ryder cup star Edoardo Molinari.

Kiradech, however, held firm and even a bogey at the last could not prevent the big hitter carding a two under par 70 for a 13 under total; one ahead of Italy’s Molinari.

The tournament was reduced to 54 holes following heavy downpour on each of the first three days while play was suspended for two and half hours on the final day due to rain.

Kiradech, who was fourth in the Avantha Masters last week, said: “I just wanted to play as best as I could and not think about the others. This is a tremendous day for me.”

The Thai’s previous Asian Tour win was in the Sail Open in India in 2011. Kiradech, who led in all three days of the tournament, started the final day 11 under par with 16 holes to complete.

The Thai, who picked up $458,330 for his win, birdied the long third after a chip to within three feet, then followed it with a lovely curling 15 foot eagle putt two holes later.

But Kiradech three-putted the seventh for a bogey after running his birdie putt 12 foot past the hole. Donald on Saturday made a shock exit after he missed the halfway cut.
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