Pavit dedicates win to king of Thailand

Macao, October 16: Pavit Tangkamolprasert dedicated his first Asian Tour victory at the Venetian Macao Open to the late king of Thailand, King Bhumibol, after prevailing over India’s Anirban Lahiri in a play-off on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Thai and reigning Asian Tour number one Lahiri put on an exhibition of golf by shooting a seven-under-par 64 and 65 respectively in the final round to tie at 16-under-par 268 at the Macau Golf and Country Club.

Pavit, who earned US$S198,000 for his career breakthrough, triumphed in extra-time with a birdie on the par five 18th hole after Lahiri, the 2014 champion here, found the water hazard with his second shot following an errant drive en route to a bogey. Lahiri settled for the runner-up spot for a third time in four years.

It was an emotional week for Pavit and the Thai players as King Bhumibol died on Thursday and Pavit believed the revered ruler was helping him all week. “All the Thai players are very sad after hearing the news back home. The king is our inspiration this week, our life and this trophy is for the king. I dedicate this win to the king,” said Pavit.

A five-time winner on the Asian Development Tour where he was number one in 2014, Pavit has only one top-10 on the Asian Tour in 65 starts previously but it all clicked in a pulsating final day showdown with Lahiri

Big-hitting Pavit overturned a one-shot deficit into a three-shot lead with some hot putting, going to six-under through 13 holes and was seemingly coasting to a well-deserved victory. However, Lahiri, who looked out of contention and trailed by five at one stage, produced his best stuff coming home as he brilliantly nailed seven successive birdies to force a play-off which he subsequently gave away the title.

Pavit said: “I didn’t think I would be in a play-off but I got lucky as Anirban hit his second shot into the water. All the hard work paid off this week. I didn’t think about winning because I don’t even have Asian Tour status. I just wanted to play my best. This win will now give me a two-year exemption.”

Source : Asian Tour

posted at 16 Oct 2016 21:13:56



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