Veteran Prayad wins Singha Hua Hin Open

Hua Hin, Thailand, May 8: Golden oldie Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand added another title to his impressive collection on Sunday when he won the Singha Hua Hin Open by a single stroke from local hero Prom Meesawat and the unsung Tirawat Kaewsiribandit.

The 50-year-old Prayad once again showed that age has not dented his ambition by recovering from a double bogey seven at the par-five third hole to card a two-under 69 at Royal Hua Hin Golf Club.

His winning total of 13-under 271 saw him go one better than last year when he was joint runner up with Prom after losing a playoff to Pawin Ingkhapradit.

Prom, who was also runner up in 2013, closed with a 69 to claim joint second place with Tirawat, who shot 68.

The colourful Udorn Duangdecha, joint overnight leader with Prayad, failed to mount a serious challenge. He signed for a two-over 73 to finish in fourth spot, four shots behind the winner.

Prayad topped the ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit last season after two wins and he scented victory early on Sunday by taking the outright lead with a birdie at the second hole.

There was a sudden reality check at the par-five third hole which he double bogeyed but, true to his reputation as a battler, he hit back with birdies at the fifth and eighth holes.

Two bogeys sandwiched by a birdie in the next three holes gave his pursuers some hope before birdies at 13 and 16 sealed the deal for the multiple winner on the ASEAN PGA, Asian and Japan Tours.

Prom, a shot behind overnight, endured an up and down front nine with three birdies and two bogeys.

He was more consistent after the turn and a birdie at the 15th gave him hope of at least a playoff but it was not to be and the former ASEAN PGA Tour winner was forced to settle for his third runner-up finish in four editions of the Singha Hua Hin Open.

Tirawat, who placed 25th here last year, mixed it with the big guns and like Prom birdied the 15th to raise the possibility of a playoff but Prayad’s birdie at the 16th effectively closed the door.

Former Asian number one Thaworn Wiratchant made a run at the leaders with three birdies on the front nine but his challenge evaporated with double bogeys on the 13th and 18th holes.

The Singha Hua Hin Open is one of four tournaments jointly sanctioned by the ASEAN PGA Tour and the All Thailand Golf Tour.

The others are the Singha E-San Open, Singha Pattaya Open and Singha Phuket Open.