Monday February 25, 2013
Chawalit claims Myanmar Open for fourth Asian Tour title
YANGON: Birdies on the last two holes propelled Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol to victory at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open, dashing Mithun Perera’s hopes of becoming the first Sri Lankan to win on the Asian Tour.
Overnight leader Chawalit was tied with Perera on 17-under heading into the last hole, but the Thai set up a three-foot birdie putt with an exquisite approach shot at the par five 18th hole to win his fourth Asian Tour title.
Chawalit, 38, closed with a three-under 69, with a tournament total of 270, while Perera, who sank five birdies in the last seven holes, ended the final day of the US$300,000 Asian Tour curtain-raiser with an impressive seven-under 65.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat came in third following a two-under 70, while Choon Hwang-in (67) of Korea, Darren Beck (69) of Australia and Angelo Que (70) of the Philippines were a further shot back in fourth place at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club.
“I’m happy but a first win in two years is not enough. I want to win more Asian Tour titles,” Chawalit said in an Asian Tour press release after the match.
“I knew at the 17th hole that Perera was on 17-under. Luckily, I managed to hole a 15-foot birdie putt to tie for the lead,” he said.
“It wasn’t smooth for me during the front nine because I was forcing myself to play it safe. I gave myself a bit of pressure and it felt better on the back,” he added.
Despite his defeat, Perera, who is the son of Nandasena, a famous name on the old Asian circuit during the 1980s and 1990s, said he was confident that a Tour title was moving closer. — AFP