Colin Montgomerie

Thai Thaworn drives home in style

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 March, 2005, 12:00am

Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant romped to a sensational five-stroke victory in the US$1 million Enjoy Jakarta Standard Chartered Indonesia Open after shooting a final round of seven-under-par 63 yesterday.

In an amazing final day at the par-70 Cengkareng Golf Club, which produced some glorious golf, the Thai with the unorthodox swing triumphed in style with a four-day score of 25-under-par 255, the lowest 72-hole total on both the Asian Tour and European Tour.

The winning mark will not be considered official due to the preferred-lie ruling in operation but Thaworn's success, worth US$166,660, will be long remembered with several of his other achievements. It was his fifth Asian Tour title and first on the European Tour.

Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, who got to within one stroke of Thaworn on the 11th hole, settled for his career-fourth second-place finish after a closing 65 for a 260 total while Australian Adam Fraser had a hole-in-one en route to a 62 for third place, a further stroke back.

Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, languishing in tied 30th place and 10 off the pace playing the last round, finally came alive, setting a new birdie record with nine-in-a-row for a brilliant 60 to share fourth place with Filipino veteran Frankie Minoza, who carded a 66.

Montgomerie, needing a win to boost his Masters hopes, posted a new birdie record on both the Asian Tour and European Tour with nine in a row and agonisingly missed a birdie at his last hole, the ninth, for a 59, which would have been a first for both tours.

Starting the day from the 10th, his magnificent run began on the 17th hole through the seventh hole.

'I had what's known as a golden opportunity to do a 59 and we know no one has ever done that in Europe but 60 is my lowest score. I'm trying my hardest here to get back to where I feel I should be. I missed so many putts in the first three days,' he said.

The 54th-ranked Montgomerie will have to wait for the conclusion of The Players Championship, regarded as the fifth major, in Florida to see if he has made up ground to break the top-50, which will give him a spot inn the Masters at Augusta National.

But it was Thaworn though who finished a marathon day on top of the heap. He returned early in the morning, playing his remaining nine holes in three under to complete his third round in 66 and open up a three-shot lead. After a quick break, he went out and finished the job in style, shooting eight more birdies against a bogey for his third 63 of the week.