Kiradech pips Siddikur on the last

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand birdied the last hole to win his first Asian Tour title at the SAIL Open on Friday.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand birdied the last hole to win his first Asian Tour title at the SAIL Open on Friday.

Kiradech shot a four-under-par 68 at the Delhi Golf Club for a four-day total of 16-under-par 272 that was one stroke to good for overnight leader Siddikur of Bangladesh.

India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu battled tooth-and-nail but dropped a shot on the 16th hole and had to be satisfied with third place.

His compatriot Manav Jaini finished one stroke further back at this US$300,000 event which is being co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGTI.

Kiradech, 21, turned in 35 before posting birdies on holes 10, 12 and 14. He was level with Siddikur after dropping a shot on hole 16 and admitted to feeling nervous when he stepped up to sink the winning putt from three feet.

“The putt on the last was very near but my hand was shaking! I’m just happy I won. I’ve waited two years for this and I’m very proud of myself,” said Kiradech, who dropped on his knees after sinking the winning putt.

He said he was delighted to find the winning touch after being in contention four times last year.

“I learned a lot from my last two years on the Asian Tour. I felt nervous but I told myself to stick to my game plan and concentrate on my game. That worked for me,” smiled the burly Thai, who won US$47,550.

Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour, was in the hunt for his second Asian Tour title, but struggled with his irons as he carded two birdies against one bogey in a round of 71.

“Overall I enjoyed my round and losing is part of the game. I’m getting better and my confidence level is still high. Kiradech played really good and deserved the win. It was his day,” said Siddikur.

Little known Sandhu, 22, who missed the halfway cut in the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Thailand earlier this year, turned in 34 before adding a pair of birdies and bogeys to finish two strokes behind the winner

“This was a good finish for me and it will be a confidence booster for my career. I gave it my all out there but the bogey on 16 spoiled my card,” said Sandhu, who honed his skills at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in the United States from 2005 to 2007.

Leading fourth round scores:
272 – Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 68-67-69-68
273 – Siddikur (BAN) 68-67-67-71
274 – Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 69-67-68-70
275 – Manav Jaini (IND) 68-73-64-70
276 – Akinori Tani (JPN) 68-67-70-71
278 – Anirban Lahiri (IND) 66-71-72-69
279 – Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 70-72-68-69
280 – Namchok Tantipokhakul (THA) 72-69-67-72, Joonas Granberg (FIN) 69-73-69-69, Daisuke Kataoka (JPN) 73-69-69-69

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