Kiradech overcomes nerves to net first Asian Tour victory
Sunday, March 27, 2011
The nerves weren't that of steel, but they did the job.
Youngster Kiradech Aphibarnrat picked up his first Asian Tour victory, outlasting Siddikur of Bangladesh with a clutch putt on No. 18 to win by one stroke at the SAIL Open on Friday at the Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi.
“The putt on the last was very near but my hand was shaking! I’m just happy I won. I’ve waited two years for this and I’m very proud of myself,” Kiradech said.
Kiradech polished off an impressive tournament – co-sponsored by the Asian Tour and PGTI – with a final-round, 4-under 68 to finish at 16 under overall.
Kiradech was a bit wobbly coming down the stretch. After making the turn with a 35, Kiradech posted birdies on Nos. 10, 12 and 14. He was even with Siddikur after a bogey on No. 16, and conceded to being nervous in sinking the winning putt on No. 18.
“I learned a lot from my last two years on the Asian Tour," said Kiradech, who won $47,550 for the victory. "I felt nervous, but I told myself to stick to my game plan and concentrate on my game. That worked for me."
Siddikur is the only player from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour, but struggled with his irons on Friday.
“Overall I enjoyed my round and losing is part of the game. I’m getting better and my confidence level is still high. Kiradech played really good and deserved the win. It was his day,” Siddikur said.
Siddikur did have a chance to send the tournament into a playoff, but his drive on No. 18 found the rough, all but squashing any birdie attempt.
India's Ajeetesh Sandhu finished third, while fellow Indian Manav Jaini was another stroke back in fourth place.
“This is a good finish for me and it will be a confidence booster for my career. I gave it my all out there, but the bogey on 16 spoiled my card,” said Sandhu, who studied at the Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida from 2005 to 2007.