Report by Anand Datla
June 21, 2015: Plenty of hopes went dashing at the Santiburi Samui Country Club in Koh Samui, an island in the Thai Archipelago. Khalin Joshi and Rashid Khan were expected to perform well, carrying with them the hopes of an emerging golfing power. But in the end, the honour of doing the country proud fell into the experienced hands of SSP Chawrasia, who overcame a difficult final round to shoot 70 and finish in T6 at the Queens Cup. Prayad Marksaeng bounced back with a 65 to come from behind for a memorable victory on his home soil.
In fact the top three men were all from Thailand, giving plenty of cheer for Thai fans. Marksaeng signed off at 14-under 270, with Thanyakon Khrongpha trailing by two shots despite a 65 in the final round. Jazz Janewattananond was tied in third alongside a resurgent Siddikur Rahman, a further two shots back. The Bangladeshi star posted a 68 in the final round.
Sri Lankan Mithun Perera was fifth at 8-under 276, after he finished a satisfying week with a 69. There were four men tied in sixth, but you could be certain that the Japanese Akinori Tani was the most disappointed of all golfers at the end of this event. The young man blew a handy three shot lead at the top, misfiring his way to a miserable 75 to squander his chances at victory. Paul Peterson, Richard Lee, Chawrasia and Tani were all tied in at 7-under for the week.
Chiragh Kumar dropped 15 spots from 15th on the card to finish at an even 284, with a disappointing 74 in the final round. Given that Kumar was inside the top five at the end of the first round, that insipid finish will rankle for a while before he forgets it.
Khalin Joshi has been in great form in recent months, but never really got going at this Thai resort. He signed off with a 71 to end the tournament in T33 with an overall score of 3-over 287.
Rashid Khan is in urgent need of a clear head and a fresh start. He will want a few weeks reflecting on his game at the Delhi courses to figure what is ailing him after ending the week with a 73 for a score of 6-over 290.
The man with the biggest grin though was the veteran golfer Marksaeng. “To be able to win at 49 years old is just incredible for me. I am very proud of myself,” said Prayad. “I started with a bogey but I wasn’t worried as there are plenty of holes to go. I knew Thanyakon was making a fast charge but I didn’t really feel the pressure as he was playing ahead of me but I thought it doesn’t matter if I lose because I was already sure that the trophy will remain in Thailand,” added Prayad, who won a handy US$54,000 besides an elegant trophy.
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