Mon, Jun 20, 2011 - Page 18 News List

GOLF: Chawalit smashes drought with win

AFP, SAMUI, Thailand

Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol poses with the Queen’s Cup winner’s trophy yesterday at the Santiburi Samui Country Club in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Photo: AFP

Local favorite Chawalit Plaphol claimed the Queen’s Cup yesterday, ending a frustrating five-year Asian Tour drought with a polished final round.

The 36-year-old, who led by one overnight, produced an accomplished three-under-par 68 at the Santiburi Samui Country Club to beat countryman Prayad Marksaeng, who closed with a bogey-free 67, by two shots.

At the other end of the field was Taiwan’s Lin Wen-hong, whose final-round 75 saw him finish at one-over 285.

Japan’s Daisuke Marumaya settled for third place, six shots back after a 73, while South Africa’s Peter Karmis eagled the 18th hole for a 70 to take fourth place at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event on the holiday isle of Samui.

“This feels good. I’ve not had a trophy in five years. My last win [the Bangkok Airways Open] was also on this course, so I felt quite confident of winning. I’m happy to have the Queen’s trophy as I have won the King’s Cup before when it was a local event,” said Chawalit, who earned US$47,550 for his third Asian Tour success.

After opening with a bogey on another wind-swept day, Chawalit, who totaled 11-under-par 273, produced some magnificent golf to remain ahead, shooting birdies on the sixth and eighth to keep his one-shot advantage.

The smooth-swinging Thai rolled in a pivotal 15-footer at the 11th, nearly aced the 15th for a birdie and then converted another birdie opportunity from four feet on the 17th to open up a three-shot gap which gave him the luxury of dropping a bogey on the final hole in front of his fans.

Prayad made it a third top-three finish in seven years at the demanding Santiburi Samui after fighting all the way with a blemish-free card highlighted by four birdies.

He turned in 33, but could only produce another birdie on the 15th as his countryman eventually coasted to victory.

Additional reporting by Staff writer

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