August 02, 2015: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat kept his cool to beat Robert Karlsson by one hole in the final of the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay.
The 26 year old was three holes up with four to play before losing the 15th, 16th and 17th, but he held his nerve at the 18th to secure his third European Tour title.
Aphibarnrat, who ended hopes of a home win when he saw off Scotland’s Marc Warren in the last four on Sunday afternoon, took a two hole lead after birdieing three of the first four holes, and he increased his advantage at the sixth as Karlsson twice tangled with the heavy rough.
Karlsson reduced the deficit to just one hole after firing birdies at the eighth and ninth but this year’s Shenzhen International winner Aphibarnrat took the 11th and 14th to return to three up.
Two birdies and a par at the next three holes saw the Swede draw level, and he looked to be in control on the 18th when he fired his approach to ten feet.
But Aphibarnrat also produced a sensational second shot at the last, and after Karlsson had missed his putt, he rolled in from four feet to win the tournament.
Meanwhile England’s David Howell recovered from his narrow semi-final defeat to Karlsson to beat Warren by one hole in Sunday afternoon’s other match to secure third place.