Japan’s Hiratsuka claims Queen’s Cup
Monday, January 31, 2011
SAMUI, Thailand – Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka drained a 12-foot putt on the 18th hole Sunday, avoiding a playoff and clinching the Queen’s Cup for his second Asian Tour victory of the year.
Hiratsuka, 38, edged out home-town favorite Thaworn Wiratchant by a single stroke with a closing round of 4-under-par 67 at the Santiburi Samui Country Club.
Thaworn, chasing Thongchai Jaidee’s record of 12 Asian Tour career wins, produced a bogey-free 69, including a birdie on 18, and was the clubhouse leader at 10-under. A playoff looked imminent after Hiratsuka found the thick greenside rough on 18, but he got up and down for birdie.
Final round scores
273 – Tetsuji Hiratsuka (JPN) 72-69-65-67
274 – Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 71-63-72-68
275 – Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 69-67-69-70
277 – Lien Lu-sen (TPE) 69-67-70-71, Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 72-70-67-68
278 – Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 65-69-71-73, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 75-69-68-66
279 – Kenichi Kuboya (JPN) 70-68-68-73, Siddikur (BAN) 67-68-73-71
281 – Iain Steel (MAS) 72-69-67-73, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 74-65-70-72, Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA) 69-70-72-70
282 – Chapchai Nirat (THA) 68-68-70-76, Thanyakorn Khrongpha (THA) 70-71-69-72, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 73-70-70-69
283 – Mars Pucay (PHI) 71-69-72-71, Namchoak Tantipokakul (THA) 70-71-71-71
284 – Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 71-69-67-77, Hsu Mong-nan (TPE) 68-69-73-74, Matthew Rosenfeld (USA) 73-67-73-71, Himmat Rai (IND) 74-69-71-70, Hideto Tanihara (JPN) 75-70-69-70
“I feel lucky. It was a good putt,” said Hiratsuka, who also won the Myanmar Open in April. “After I chipped past the hole, I wasn’t thinking about a playoff. I told my caddie, ‘Let’s sink this putt,’ and I’m glad I did.”
Filipino Juvic Pagunsan finished another stroke back in third place after a 70 at the U.S. $300,000 event. Chinese Taipei’s Lien Lu-sen and Kodai Ichihara of Japan shared fourth.
Pagunsan, the co-overnight leader with Wiratchant, fought hard to overcome two early bogeys to stay in contention. He rolled in a 25-foot birdie on 15 and converted another six footer on 17 to remain one behind, but couldn’t capitalize on an eagle opportunity on 18 to tie the Japanese winner.
“I had a good look at the hole with my pitch for eagle, but didn’t pull it off,” Pagunsan said. “I was fighting until the end, and it’s still good to finish third as Tetsuji played really well.”
Last year’s Queen’s Cup champion Chinnarat Phadungsil signed off with a 66 and a 278 total to finish T-6 with Prayad Marksaeng. Bangladesh’s Mohammad Siddikur enjoyed a career first top-10 by finishing T-8.
Malaysia’s Iain Steel, Andrew Dodt of Australia and Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul shared 10th place at 281.
Asian Tour contributed to this report.
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