Young Thai talent Panuphol Pittayarat completed a total of 25 holes on Sunday to claim a commanding five-shot victory for his maiden Asian Tour title at the weather-hit Indonesia Open.
The 24-year-old Panuphol returned in the morning to finish the remaining seven holes from his third round where he signed for a five-under-par 67 to lead by three shots heading into the final round.
Panuphol traded three birdies against a bogey for an outward 34, grabbing just a one-shot edge over a fast-charging countryman Tirawat Kaewsiribandit, who closed in with four birdies, at the turn.
Panuphol, however, pulled clear with three straight birdies from the 10th hole before adding two more birdies in his closing five holes for a final round 65 and a winning total of 23-under-par 265 at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
“It has been six years since my last win and I am very happy with this win. Even though I played 25 holes today, it was a good day because I felt very comfortable out there playing with two Thai players,” said a Panuphol.
“It was a bad decision I made on hole four where I ended up with a bogey, but that was the only hole that I did not do too well on. I just stayed in the present and did not think about what was going to happen.
“I came out this week with a new mentality to just enjoy golf and stick to my routine regardless of the result. Coming down the 18th hole, I totally did not know what I was shooting. I just took it one shot at a time. During the suspension, I got a bit of a rest and after that, I just went out to play.
“I tried to play every hole the same way and not think about the result and it works! I will keep that mentality going into the next couple of tournaments.”
Tirawat returned with a second straight 67 to settle for second place while Jazz Janewattananond and Namchok Tantipokhakul, also of Thailand, shared third place on 273 following respective rounds of 67 and 69 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
Rattanon Wannasrichan, 22, stayed bogey-free in his last 29 holes to ensure a strong Thai presence on the final leaderboard. He closed with a flawless 67 to grab fifth place on his own on 274.
Rory Hie soared with two eagles and one birdie in his closing five holes to emerge as the highest-placed Indonesian in 12th place on 277.
The penultimate round of the Indonesia Open was affected by a lengthy rain delay on Saturday. A total of 57 players returned on Sunday morning to complete their third rounds with the final round being played concurrently. There was no redraw for the players’ groups for the final round.
Did you know?
- Panuphol took home a winner’s prize purse of US$54,000 and propelled to 14th place on the Order of Merit. He also earned a one-year winner exemption on Asian Tour following his win.
- Prior to his victory, Panuphol has claimed three top-10s on the Asian Tour this season.
- Panuphol is the 10th first-time winner on the Asian Tour this season. He is also the fifth Thai to emerge triumphant on the Asian Tour this season.
- Panuphol turned professional in 2007, at a young age of 14. He started plying his trade on the Asian Tour in 2009 and has not missed out on his playing rights since 2011. He has finished inside top-60 on the Order of Merit for the last six years.
- Panuphol had come in tied-second at the 2016 Indonesia Open, held on the same course last year.
- Panuphol is nicknamed “Coconut” by his parents. He turned professional at a young age of 14.
- Tirawat, who hails from Khon Kaen, marked his best ever result on the Asian Tour with his runner-up finish at the Indonesia Open.
- Tirawat, who turned professional in 2010, regained his Asian Tour card at the 2017 Qualifying School after finishing in seventh place on his own. He missed only two cuts in 13 starts on the Asian Tour this season and has enjoyed his first top-10 result in Korea last month.
- Tirawat fought through a back injury to claim his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) win on home soil in June. His professional breakthrough came on his local Tour last year.
- Tirawat battled against a cold at the start of the week. Also endured pain in his knee through the final round.
- Jazz came into the Indonesia Open last year, hoping for a win to keep his Asian Tour card for the 2017 season. He started this week with one win and four top-10s already in his bag.
Scores after round 4 of the Indonesia Open, played at the par 72, 7,243 yards Pondok Indah GC (am – denotes amateur):
265 – Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 68-65-67-65.
270 – Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 68-68-67-67.
273 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-68-69-67, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 69-66-69-69.
274 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 70-66-71-67.
275 – Lionel WEBER (FRA) 72-70-64-69, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 69-69-67-70.
276 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 72-68-70-66, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 70-73-65-68, Anthony QUAYLE (AUS) 71-66-70-69, Andrew MARTIN (AUS) 71-65-70-70.
277 – Rory HIE (INA) 68-73-67-69.