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Golf | Asia

Panuphol Pittayarat © Gallo Images

Panuphol holds on to win Thailand Open

Panuphol Pittayarat clung to the lead to win the Thailand Open and collect his second Asian Tour title on Sunday despite a topsy turvy final round that ended with an even-par 70.

Briefly delayed by lightning as Thailand enters its monsoon season, the event was up for grabs going into the last day as Panuphol maintained an uncomfortably small edge on fellow Thai Poom Saksansin.

The 25-year-old Panuphol, who is nicknamed "Coconut", barely pulled it off on his home territory at the Thai Country Club on the outskirts of Bangkok, sinking three birdies and the same number of bogeys, including one on the 18th hole.

It was his toughest round of the $300 000 tournament, and followed an impressive bogey-free third day. But Poom's equally lopsided outing meant he could not catch up, finishing one stroke behind Panuphol.

Panuphol admitted having some jitters but was full of pride for winning at home, describing the victory as a "dream come true."

"This means everything to me. This is my national trophy, my home course and this is where I practice. I'm very, very happy," Panuphol told Asiantour.com after he finished the event with a total of 13 under 267.

"I felt a bit of nerves coming down the stretch but I kept it cool and patient. I tried not to let the nerves affect my thinking, my game or feeling."

Panuphol won the Indonesia Open last year but went through something of a slump until this performance.

He is the fifth Thai player to win the national tournament since 1965, according to the Asian Tour.

Thais dominated the leaderboard on Sunday, filling all top five slots.


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