Sept 15 (Reuters) - Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant clinched a record 16th Asian Tour title following overnight leader Chan Kim’s final round meltdown at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship on Sunday.
The 46-year-old Thai struggled with irons but still signed off with a four-under-par 68 for a winning total of 13-under-par 275 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Kim, who won the Tour’s qualifying school in January, looked set for victory but made three straight bogeys from the 15th hole for a two-under-par 70 to finish one shot behind the Thai stalwart.
“I’m very proud because I can still win at the age of 46,” said Thaworn. “I was really struggling with my irons but I chipped and putted so well. I honestly didn’t think that I could win,” said last season’s Order of Merit winner.
While Kim’s title hopes fizzled out on the back nine, Thaworn, who won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2010, played solid golf dropping his only shot of the day on the second hole.
“Kim is such a powerful golfer and he had a lot of advantage on the par fives. I had to stay patient,” the Thai golfer said.
“I didn’t think I could have won and I would have been satisfied with second place. But he started to drop shots and all of a sudden I was in the lead and I won.”
For the 23-year-old Kim, who started with an eagle on the first and gained three more shots before his late collapse, it was a learning experience.
“I got a little greedy. I tried to get my ball out further so I could get a shorter club into the green,” Kim said.
“I think that’s something which I have to learn because all I had to do today was actually play a bit smarter.
“I will use this experience in my future tournaments.”
Angelo Que of the Philippines, a three-time winner on the Tour, shot a 66 to grab the third spot on 279 while local golfer Chan Shih-chang (67) finished on fourth, a further shot back. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)