SHARMA MOVES TO WORLD NO.226
Asian, European and Sunshine Tour – Joburg Open
Shubhankar Sharma produced a brilliant, nerveless performance in the final round to win the weather-delayed Joburg Open.
The Indian entered the final round at Randpark Golf Club with a five-shot lead but had seen that cut to four when play was halted due to storms at 1.00pm local time on Sunday, with his ball on the eighth green.
The 21-year-old showed no ill effects from the overnight delay, birdieing the ninth and then parring his way home for a 69 that moved him to 23 under and gave him a three-shot victory over South Africa's Erik van Rooyen, who carded a 66.
A place at the Open Championship was on offer for the top three players in the field not already exempt and South African Shaun Norris joined Sharma and Van Rooyen in booking his place at Carnoustie Golf Links as he finished at 17 under alongside Finn Tapio Pulkkanen.
England's Marcus Armitage was then at 15 under, two shots clear of countryman James Morrison and Dane Joachim B Hansen.
Van Rooyen had made birdies on the third, fourth, fifth and seventh, and was left with a tap-in on the ninth overnight, which he made to get to 19 under.
That cut the lead to three but Sharma, who was two under for his round at the suspension, holed an eight-foot left-to-righter on the ninth to turn in 33 and re-establish his cushion.
Norris had also turned in 33 and he soon set about trying to claim that third Open place with birdies on the par five 12th and 14th.
Asian Development Tour - Thongchai Jaidee Foundation
Kiradech Aphibarnrat underlined his status as Thailand’s number one golfer by lifting the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation trophy for the second time at the Siam Country Club’s Waterside course on Sunday.
Starting the round with a three-shot lead, Kiradech fired four birdies against two bogeys to close with a two-under-par 70. He won by three shots with a 14-under-par 274 total at the ฿4 million (approximately US$120,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate William Harrold of England returned with a solid 66 to take second place while Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas posted a battling 71 to settle for third place on 278 at the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation.
American John Catlin, a two-time ADT winner, carded a 71 to settle a shot back of Pannakorn in fourth place while Pawin Ingkhapradit of Thailand signed for a commendable 67 to take fifth place on 280.
“It was a tough day. Pannakorn and John were piling the pressure on me. I made a crucial par on the 16, hitting it 230 yards against the wind and two-putted on the green. That gave me some confidence and I managed to stay composed till the end to win,” said Kiradech.