Chan wins dramatic Asian play-off

Chan Yih-shin has claimed his maiden Asian Tour title in a dramatic three-way playoff at the Kings Cup.

Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin claimed his maiden Asian Tour victory after a dramatic three-way playoff at the King’s Cup on Sunday.

Chan birdied the second play-off hole from five feet at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club to edge out England’s Nick Redfern and a luckless Simon Yates of Scotland, who missed a three-foot birdie attempt to extend the play-off.

The man from Taipei ended his campaign with a closing two-under-par 70 for a 14-under-par 274 total that was matched by Redfern, who shot a blistering 66 despite an unfortunate double bogey on 17, and Yates, who returned a 68 in the season’s final event.

The trio posted matching pars on the first extra hole, but Chan rose to the occasion with an exquisite approach for his winning birdie putt to win the US$47,550 top prize in the King’s Cup presented by Singha and thec Sports Authority of Thailand.

“I’m feeling ecstatic. I played well throughout the week and I’m really happy. When I was trailing by a few shots with a few holes to play, I thought I didn’t have a chance to win and I just wanted to finish as high as possible,”admitted Chan, who ended his season in 28th place on the Order of Merit.

Chan, who led for the first three rounds, made a crucial eight foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to draw level with Yates and Redfern.

“After Nick (Redfern) double bogeyed the 17th hole and I birdied it, I was back in the tournament. I made a crucial putt there from eight feet to draw level. That was an important moment,”he said.

Redfern was in red-hot form, reeling in eight birdies to open up a two-stroke lead with two holes to play before hitting a tee shot into the par three 17th which got plugged in a greenside bunker. He needed two attempts to escape the sand trap before stumbling to a double bogey and slipping back into a tie.

“The incident on 17 didn’t affect me at all because I made a good putt for five and just kept myself going down the last,” said Redfern, who was playing in only his fourth Asian Tour tournament this year.

“Getting a tie for second is a pretty good result for me. I had 17 good holes but got a little bit unlucky on the 17th. I will be taking back a lot of confidence from this tournament.”

Yates, who recently returned from an injury spell, brilliantly charged into the title hunt, but he was down-beat about the missed short putt that would have taken the play-off to a third hole.

“It’s disappointing. The last putt broke so hard from right to left that I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was left edge as I saw Chan’s putt earlier. So I aimed it in the middle and missed it,” said Yates, who was hoping to win a third Asian Tour title.

“It was still a good week. There were some nerves and it was nice to get that feeling again, especially yesterday when I got on a roll. I’ll take positives away from this week.”

India’s Harmeet Kahlon ended his campaign with a 66 to finish tied fourth with Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng who closed with a superb 65 for a 276 total.

Malaysia’s Shaaban Hussin who missed the cut on Friday, amazingly kept his 65th position on the Order of Merit to earn full playing rights for next season by the slimmest of margins.

“Oh my gosh, I want to cry,” said a relieved Shaaban when contacted in Kuala Lumpur.

“After I got home on Saturday, I just chucked my bags down at home and didn’t do anything. I was so sure that the players behind me would overtake me on the Order of Merit as there were only a few thousand dollars behind me. I’m so relieved.”