Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand has moved into the top-20 in the inaugural Race to Dubai after finishing two shots clear of Simon Dyson, Alexander Noren and Steve Webster to win the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open at New Kuta Golf Club in Bali.
The 39-year-old began the final round one shot in front of the pack and, with four birdies in the first seven holes, it looked as though he would cruise to the title. But, after bogeys at the 8th and 14th, his advantage was trimmed to just one over England’s Steve Webster.
Jaidee held his nerve, however, and a birdie at the 16th meant he had a two-shot lead coming down the final hole. He made an eight-foot par putt on the 18th green to secure his first win on the European Tour since the Malaysian Open of 2005.
“My driving, putting and iron game were all good today. I felt very confident out there which helped me a lot,” Jaidee said.
The man from Thailand went on to reveal that making it to the Dubai World Championship is a key goal for him this year. “Getting into the top-60 in the Race to Dubai is my main goal and the second is to get into the top-50 in the World Ranking.” He said. “I’ve been trying to do that for a long time and I have not been able to make it but now I think that I have a very good chance.”
Simon Dyson, a specialist when the European Tour visits Asia, looked like mounting a serious challenge with three birdies in his first five holes. But a double bogey at the 14th effectively took the Englishman out of contention.
“I just needed a bit of luck and I didn’t really get it.” He said. “But I’m probably playing the best golf I’ve ever played. I know my game’s in good enough shape and hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the season.”
Sweden’s Alexander Noren finished strongly with an eagle at the 16th then a birdie on the 17th. He ended the week tied second with Dyson and Steve Wbster.
Enjoy Jakara Indonesia Open New Kuta GC, Bali, Indonesia Feb 26 – Mar 1, purse $940,000, par 72
1 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 71 69 67 69 276 €163,867 T2 Simon Dyson (Eng) 68 71 70 69 278 €73,317 T2 Alexander Noren (Swe) 69 73 66 70 278 €73,317 T2 Steve Webster (Eng) 69 69 72 68 278 €73,317 T5 Richard Bland (Eng) 72 71 66 70 279 €38,051 T5 Rafael Cabrera Bello (Esp) 71 72 71 65 279 €38,051 T7 Simon Griffiths (Eng) 70 70 69 71 280 €25,367 T7 Simon Khan (Eng) 68 76 68 68 280 €28,367 T7 Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 74 70 66 70 280 €28,367
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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