2005: Wiratchant makes news of his own

JAKARTA, Indonesia

The big story at the Indonesia Open was Colin Montgomerie’s quest for a victory that would get him into the top 50 in the world, and thus secure a trip to the Masters (see page 8).

But don’t tell that to Thaworn Wiratchant, who won the co-sanctioned event by five strokes even though Montgomerie shot 60 in the final round. Wiratchant played 27 holes March 27 because of weather delays in the third round, but it was extra work he relished. He was atop the leaderboard throughout the final day, finished at 25 under and became the second Thai player to win on the PGA European Tour. Thongchai Jaidee, who captured the 2004 Malaysian Open, was the tour’s first Thai champion.

All 79 players who survived the Indonesian Open cut completed their third rounds Sunday. Wiratchant played nine third-round holes Sunday and finished at 4-under 66. Then, he shot his third 63 of the tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

“Winning a co-sanctioned event has been on my mind, and I’ve been trying for a while,” said Wiratchant. “The weather disruptions made it hard for us, but I just tried to ignore it.

“Now I’ve turned my dream into a reality.”

Raphael Jacquelin of France, who shot 65 in his final round, was second, followed by Adam Fraser of Australia, who had a hole-in-one in his final round of 62.

Montgomerie tied for fourth with Frankie Minoza of the Philippines after finishing his third round Sunday with 66, then just missing shooting 59 in the final round when he failed to sink a birdie try on No. 18. Montgomerie had 10 birdies in the round, a record on both the European and Asian tours. Neither tour has had a player shoot a sub-60 round.

Going into the Indonesia Open, Montgomerie was No. 54 in the Official World Ranking. He figured he needed a victory to break into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters.

– Staff and wire reports

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