Sergio Garcia wins Thailand Golf Championship from Henrik Stenson
Spaniard holds off Stenson for a four-stroke victory to claim his title of the year
Sergio Garcia shot a final-round 68 to beat Henrik Stenson by four strokes and win the Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club on Sunday.
The Spaniard, 33, who held the lead since the second round, turned in a solid final round that featured six birdies and two bogeys to finish on 22-under 266.
The victory is Garcia's first this year with his previous win coming at the Johor Open, an Asian Tour event in Malaysia, last December. He pocketed US$180,000 yesterday.
"It was great, an amazing week ... obviously being the last week of the year and for having Katharina [Boehm] caddie for me," Garcia, who had his girlfriend caddying for him and has now won four Asian Tour titles in his career.
"I'm very, very happy and I can't wait to go back home to Switzerland and kind of sleep on it a little bit.
"I knew Henrik was going to make it difficult for me. He's been playing so amazingly great, and he did. I started well, but he also did. He kept hitting good shot after good shot.
"And then when I bogeyed seven, I had to make a good par save on nine after getting a bit unlucky with the approach shot. And then I made three very important birdies on the first three on the back nine and gave myself a little bit of a cushion.
"I pretty much knew that finishing par, par, the tournament was pretty much mine, and then just making sure I kept the tee shot dry on 18 and I hit a great second shot with a six iron, and once the ball came out of the club face, I knew that I was pretty much done."
Sweden's Stenson, who recently made history by being the first player to win the Race to Dubai and the FedEx Cup, matched Garcia's 68 in his final round for an 18-under 270 total.
"It was a good week. Especially [because] I've had a great year but coming here really on the fumes left in the tank, not too much going for me to perform this week in that sense. But ... I was hanging in there and I was just coming up a couple short," Stenson said.
"I needed something really, really good to happen there. I had a couple of chances to get a little bit close but I didn't make those two birdie putts and Sergio was hanging in there, made one or two good saves and then he made three birdies in a row, and then he pulled away, and then really I would need something spectacular to happen the last four or five holes."
Alexander Levy, of France, shot a 69 to finish another four shots behind for a 274 total and third place. Last year's winner, Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, with a second straight 67, was joint fourth on 275 along with Yuki Kono of Japan, US Open champion Justin Rose and Anirban Lahiri of India.
Rickie Fowler of the United States endured what was an up and down final round that featured six birdies and four bogeys for a 70 which left him on 11-under 277 and finishing in a share of eighth place with Thailand's Chapchai Nirat.