June 10, 2018: Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand claimed a special victory at the Thailand Open after closing with an even-par 70 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Panuphol battled nerves heading into the final six holes where he bogeyed 13 and 18, and almost found the water hazard with his third shot on the par-five 17th hole. He held on to victory after signing for a 13-under-par 267 total.
Indian duo Chikkarangappa and Rahil Gangjee finished with in top 20 at T13 and T18 respectively. Chikka shot one-under-par 69 in the final round with five birdies, two bogeys and double bogey and closed with six-under 274 total. Rahil scored par-70 in the final round with four birdies and equal number of bogies to finish with four-under 276 total.
The baby-faced Poom, who represented Asia at the EurAsia Cup earlier this year, overtook the lead early in the round but struggled to maintain his title charge following bogeys on 10 and 12.
He ended his campaign on a 70 to settle for second place, one shot back of the champion Panuphol while 20-year-old Sarit Suwannarut enjoyed his best result on the Asian Tour after securing third place.
The victory was especially sweet for Panuphol as he won the revered Thailand Open trophy on his home course. The victory also marked a return to form for the Thai who came into the tournament following four straight missed cuts.
With the win Panuphol also took the early lead in the 2018/2019 Panasonic Swing race.