Kiradech Aphibarnrat beats star-studded field to win Malaysian Open
Agence France-Presse in Kuala Lumpur
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat held off a string of star names to snatch his first European Tour title by one stroke at the rain-hit Maybank Malaysia Open yesterday after posting a two-under 70.
Kiradech blew away a field that had world number three Luke Donald and former Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel in the US$2.75 million event, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour.
One ahead of former Masters Tournament winner Schwartzel at the start of the final day, the 23-year-old Thai golfer was joined by, amongst others, three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and Ryder cup star Edoardo Molinari. Kiradech, however, held firm and even a bogey at the last could not prevent the big hitter carding a two-under-par 70 for a 13-under total; one ahead of Italy's Molinari.
The tournament was reduced to 54 holes following heavy downpours on each of the first three days while play was suspended for two and half hours on the final day due to rain.
Kiradech, who was fourth in the Avantha Masters last week, said: "I just wanted to play as best as I could and not think about the others. This is a tremendous day for me."
The Thai, whose previous Asian Tour win was in the Sail Open in India in 2011, picked up US$458,330 for his win.