Kiradech Aphibarnrat cruised to a threeshot victory when he closed with a second straight four-under-par 68 to win the inaugural Thongchai Jaidee Foundation event The Event was hosted by his mentor who also joined the field on 13th September at the immaculately presented Black Mountain Golf Course. The 26-year-old Thai is only the second player from Thailand, after Thongchai Jaidee, to record multiple European Tour wins, although almost 20 years his junior.
Kiradech, who led by four shots heading into the final round, fired five birdies against a bogey for a winning total of 24-underpar 264 in the four million baht Asian Development Tour (ADT) and All Thailand Tour Event. Local veteran Prayad Marksaeng put up a strong fight before settling for second place following a 67 while home town hero Prom Meesawat and American Berry Henson shared third place on 269 with final rounds of 68 and 69 respectively.
Tournament host Thongchai returned with a 67 to tie in fifth place with compatriot Chapchai Nirat, who capped his best round of the week with a 66. “My game’s was in a good shape coming to this week and that gave me a lot of confidence to win the tournament. This win means a lot to me. Thongchai is one of the best golfers in Thailand and he is also a great mentor and inspiration to me. I have always wanted to emulate his success growing up so I am really happy to win the first event hosted by Thongchai himself this week,” said Kiradech. Thongchai expressed his delight following the successful staging of his very first tournament this week. “I am very happy with how the event went this week. It’s a milestone for me to be able to host my own tournament,” said the 45-year-old. Another winner Thamannon Koonmark was who achieved a hole in one which was rewarded with a Mazda CX5 valued at over 1.6 million THB.
Apart from recognising the significance of this inaugural Foundation Event and the importance of sport to tourism, VIP guest the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul acknowledged Thongchai Jaidee as the first Thai golfer to make the International Team for The Presidents Cup against the United States in Korea commencing on October 8th. She described him as a golfer with ‘Thainess in his DNA’ and as an inspiration to the young of Thailand. As a wonderful post script; Thongchai, sporting the Thai flag on his visor and the Black Mountain logo on his shirt, followed up on the success of his foundation event by securing his seventh European Tour victory with a score of -17 at the Porsche European Open at the Golf Resort Bad Griesbach in Bavaria two weeks later! The sponsors of the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2015 included SINGHA, Betagro, Idemitsu, Tune Insurance, Mazda, Ricoh, Oakley and Golf Pride.
264 – Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 67 61 68 68
267 – Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 66 66 68 67
269 – Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 65 65 71 68, Berry HENSON (USA) 68 62 70 69
272 – Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 70 68 68 66, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 68 67 70 67
273 – Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA) 68 65 70 70
274 – Simon YATES (SCO) 72 65 67 70
276 – Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 70 66 73 67
277 – Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 70 71 71 65, Brett MUNSON (USA) 71 70 70 66, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 70 66
74 67, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 68
70 69 70, Phiphatphong NAEWSUK (THA) 68 65 73 71