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Thaworn Wiratchant Indonesian Open Winner



Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand shot a 1-over 73 to win the Indonesian Open by one stroke and seal his 15th victory in the region on Sunday

After opening with rounds of 68, 68 and 66, the 44-year-old Thaworn closed with a 20-yard chip shot on No. 18 to line up his victory, leaving him with a tap-in putt for par. His 13-under total of 275 earned him $180,000 in prize money and a second Indonesian Open title.

Local favorite Rory Hie (69), defending champion Michael Hendry of New Zealand (70) and South Korea’s Choi Jin-ho (71) tied for second.

Describing his win as “an uphill battle”, Thaworn’s effortless finish followed an otherwise frustrating day in which he shot three bogeys.

“The past two days have been a struggle,” he said. “I had to work a lot harder to win this Indonesia Open compared with the last time I won it.”

Thaworn won the Indonesian Open by five strokes in 2005 at Cengkareng Golf Club and tied for fifth place in last year’s tournament.

Hie’s inexperience showed as he tried to cope with the pressure in his last four holes. After losing an outright lead with a bogey on No. 15, the 22-year-old missed a chance to reclaim it with a 10-foot birdie putt two holes later.

Hie all but sealed his fate after hitting his drive into a water hazard on No. 18. With a one-stroke penalty, he bogeyed the hole.

“It hurts, of course, being this close to winning, but sometimes, you have to fall before rising to the top,” he said. “I have learned my lesson and I will work harder to win the tournament on my home soil.”

Hie’s second-place finish was reminiscent of his one-stroke loss in the Indonesian PGA Championship earlier this year. Then he lost his overnight lead to Australian Andre Stolz and finish alone in second.

“I really hope it’s just a matter of time before winning a tournament,” Hie said.

Former Ryder Cup player Paul McGinley closed with a 73 to finish one under and tie for 41st place.

The Irish veteran, who had started the day tied for 33rd, has only recently recovered from a left knee injury that hampered his play for most of the year.

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