Thongchai wins Cambodian Open golf, Lahiri secures Asian Tour card

Sunday, December 12, 2010

SIEM REAP - India’s Anirban Lahiri secured his Asian Tour card for 2011 with a solid fourth place finish at the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open here Sunday. Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand won the title.

Lahiri, who was on the bubble at 61st place before this week, shot a three-under 69 despite an ugly triple bogey on the par-4 seventh hole.

Indias other challenger on Sunday Himmat Rai also shot a 69 with four birdies and just one bogey to finish at tied 19th.

Thongchai, three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Sunday showed why he is one of Asias best. He was in a class of his own when he posted a final round seven-under-par 65 to win the $300,000 Asian Tour event by four shots with a total of 21-under-par 267.

While Lahiris hopes of winning his maiden Asian Tour title did not materialise, he was able to take comfort with his solid play that led him to this third top-10 finish this season.

“I only made one mistake today, a triple bogey on the seventh hole but I am really proud that I made four birdies in a row,” said Lahiri.

With his Tour card also secured, the 23-year-old Indian is now looking forward to cap his season on a winning note at the season finale Black Mountain Masters next week. He was fourth at the event last year.

“I am happy with the way it has ended up. I played really well in Black Mountain last year and now I have got to go there and try and win and get my rankings further up, said Lahiri.

Japans Kenichi Kuboya, who held the lead for three rounds, had to settle for the second place after signing off with a 70 for a 271 total at the Phokeethra Country Club.

Koreas Kim Hyung-sung returned with a 72 to take third place on 273 while Lahiri and Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands took a share of fourth place on matching 274s.

Australias Marcus Both together with Malaysias Iain Steel and Thailands Prayad Marksaeng took equal sixth on 275.

I played really solid all week and I have no complaints. This is my second win here and I am really proud of myself, said Thongchai.

It was a close tussle at the top with Thongchai and Kuboya fighting neck-to-neck for supremacy through the first 12 holes.

Thongchai stormed home convincingly with three birdies in his last three holes to secure his first win this season and a record 13th career title on the Asian Tour.

If I continue my good form, there is a good chance of winning again next week, said Thongchai of his title aspirations at next weeks Black Mountain Masters.

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