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Golf | Asia

Chawalit Plaphol © Gallo Images

Chawalit gets fourth Asian Tour victory



Thailand's Chawalit Plaphol birdied the final two holes to overhaul Sri Lankan Mithun Perera and win the Asian Tour's season opening Myanmar Open in Yangon on Sunday.

The 38-year-old rolled in a three-foot putt on the par-five last to finish with a three-under 69 and 271 18-under total to seal a one-shot triumph and claim his fourth Asian Tour title.

"I'm happy but a first win in two years is not enough, I want to win more Asian Tour titles," Chawalit told reporters after sealing the $54 000 prize fund.

"I knew at the 17th hole that Mithun was on 17-under. Luckily, I managed to hole a 15-foot birdie putt to tie for the lead."

Chawalit held a one-shot lead overnight and began his final round well, recording birdies on the second and fifth to maintain his advantage at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club.

But a dropped shot on the ninth halted his charge and despite picking up a shot at the par-five 14th he gave it right back on the next as Perera stormed in front with five birdies on the back nine in a blemish free round of 65.

"It wasn't smooth for me during the front nine because I was forcing myself to play it safe. I gave myself a bit of pressure and it felt better on the back," the Thai said.

Perera, the first Sri Lankan to hold an Asian Tour card, completed his round by parring the par-five 18th to post a total of 17 under to lead in the clubhouse and throw all the pressure on Chawalit. But the world number 438 was up to the task.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on a first Asian Tour title in just his ninth start, Perera was pleased with his efforts.

"All you need is one good week to turn your life around. I think the win is not far away for me. I'm sure my father and my country are proud of me. This week, I flew the Sri Lankan flag high," said the 26-year-old.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat finished third after the leader at the halfway mark could only muster a 70 to finish two back of his compatriot Chawalit.

South Korea's Hwang In-choon fired a 67 to grab a share of fourth alongside Australian Darren Beck (69) and Filipino Angelo Que (70).

The next stop for the Asian Tour is the $300 000 SAIL-SBI Open in New Delhi from March 6-9.

LEADING FINAL SCORES

270 – Chawalit PLAPHOL 67 66 68 69

271 – Mithun PERERA 71 68 67 65

272 – Kiradech APHIBARNRAT 64 67 71 70

273 – HWANG In-choon 66 70 70 67, Darren BECK 66 69 69 69, Angelo QUE 69 68 66 70

274 – Lionel WEBER 67 69 70 68, Quincy QUEK 71 69 67 67, Rahil GANGJEE 71 66 67 70

275 – Chapchai NIRAT 64 72 67 72, Arnond VONGVANIJ 68 67 69 71, HUNG Chien-yao 67 67 71 70

276 – Thanyakon KHRONGPHA 66 67 74 69, Thammanoon SRIROJ 69 70 66 71, Danny CHIA 68 70 68 70, Rikard KARLBERG 67 71 71 67, Antonio LASCUNA 67 73 69 67, Himmat RAI 70 71 67 68

277 – BAEK Seuk-hyun 67 68 72 70, Prom MEESAWAT 65 72 71 69, Tim STEWART 71 70 67 69

278 – Young NAM 66 73 67 72, Berry HENSON 70 68 68 72

279 – Anthony KANG 70 70 73 66, Mardan MAMAT 67 69 69 74, Yuta IKEDA 68 71 71 69, Carlos PIGEM 67 72 70 70, Frankie MINOZA 74 66 69 70, Ajeetesh SANDHU 70 68 73 68, Sujjan SINGH 71 70 71 67

280 – Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT 70 70 70 70, Javi COLOMO 71 70 68 71, Stephen LEWTON 69 71 69 71, Prayad MARKSAENG 68 72 69 71, Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL 68 72 70 70, Jaakko MAKITALO 69 70 71 70, Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW 70 70 72 68, Thaworn WIRATCHANT 71 67 69 73

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