Udorn dedicates first win to Thai king

Udorn Duangdecha

Udorn Duangdecha

KHON KAEN, Thailand – Udorn Duangdecha entered the final round of the King’s Cup five strokes off the lead, but that wasn’t enough to keep the Thai away from his first Asian Tour title.

Udorn produced a final-round charge of 6-under 66, earning him a two-stroke victory at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club.

Jbe Kruger of South Africa settled for his third runner-up finish this season after narrowly missing a 50-foot eagle putt on the 18th green. He signed for a 73 (278 total) to share second place with Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand and Mo Joong-kyung of South Korea.

LEADING FINAL-ROUND SCORES

276 - Udorn Duangdecha (THA) 70-71-69-66

278 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 71-65-69-73, Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA) 68-72-66-72, Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) 67-70-73-68

279 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 68-67-70-74, Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 68-70-72-69

280 - Tony Carolan (AUS) 66-69-71-74, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 70-70-69-71, Piya Swangarunporn (THA) 75-68-71-66

282 - Gavin Flint (AUS) 71-72-68-71, Baek Seuk-hyun (KOR) 74-70-68-70, Unho Park (AUS) 69-70-75-68

284 - Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 71-66-73-74, Quincy Quek (SIN) 71-67-75-71, Lam Chih Bing (SIN) 73-68-72-71, Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 71-71-71-71, Hwang Inn-choon (KOR) 69-73-72-70, Rory Hie (INA) 70-72-72-70, Scott Hend (AUS) 74-71-71-68

285 - Blair Wilson (AUS) 75-70-71-69

Following a 74, joint-overnight leader Prom Meesawat of Thailand slipped to T-5 with countryman Kwanchai Tannin at 279. Australian Tony Carolan and Thaworn Wiratchant and Piya Swangarunporn, both of Thailand, were a stroke further back in seventh place.

The US$300,000 tournament was held in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand – the country’s leader since 1946, making him the world’s longest-serving head of state.

“I want to dedicate this victory to my king,” Udorn said. “The time felt right for me to win. I was feeling confident all day and made every shot with determination.

“It was hard not to see all the big names on the leaderboard coming into the final day, but I tried my best to ignore their scores and played against myself and remained focused. That eased some pressure off me.”

Before Sunday, Udorn’s best finish was T-2 at the Queen’s Cup in 2009.

It was another case of lost opportunities for Kruger, a two-time winner on the Sunshine Tour.

“I hit the ball well but I could not buy a putt today,” said Kruger, who also finished second at the Handa Singapore Classic and Brunei Open this year. “I think the last putt was the only one I had a chance of scoring.”

Mo, who won his second Asian Tour victory in Thailand in 2008, charged into contention with a 33 on the front, but his title aspirations were dashed with a bogey on No. 13. However, he still shot 66.

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