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Jaidee wins Malaysian Open

February 23, 2004 14:32 IST

Former Thai paratrooper Thongchai Jaidee not only slotted a hole-in-one but also won the US$1.21 million Carlsberg Malaysian Open on Sunday at the Saujana Golf and Country Club, to become the first Thai to do so.

For the second year running an Asian golfer lifted the title. In 2003, Arjun Atwal, emerged champion; this year it was Jaidee's turn.

Jaidee fired a four-under-par 68, including a hole-in-one on the 188-yard par three 16th hole, for a four-round total of 14-under-par 274, to finish two strokes ahead of Australian Brad Kennedy in an event jointly-sanctioned with the Asia. It was Jaidee's second win in as many weeks, having won the Myanmar Open last Sunday. His sixth win in Asia makes him the seventh Asian player to win on The European Tour.

Jyoti Randhawa started very well with three successive birdies on the 11th, 12th and 13th holes and then one more on the 18th. At that stage he was seven-under but then three bogeys on fifth, seventh and ninth cost him a good finish, as he ended at four-under 284 for a tied 26th place. His four rounds were 72, 71, 70, and 71.

Harmeet Kahlon had four birdies and three bogeys in a round of 71, which gave him a total of one-under 287 and a tied 41st place.

Jeev Milkha Singh spoilt what was looking to be a fine round with two doubles bogeys, on the the first and eighth besides another one on the second. He had four birdies but in he end, he finished with a round of one over 73 and a total of one-over 289 in the tied 51st place.

Amandeep Johl too had his share of problems with his back nine coming in five over after a four-under front nine. With a final round 73, he ended at two-over 290 in the tied 55th place.

Jaidee's phenomenal result also meant that he has finished in the top ten in each of his last six events and won three of them, including the Volvo Masters of Asia last December.

Kennedy, who finished equal second in last year's Carlsberg Malaysian Open, closed with a 67. He had to hole 25-foot birdie putt on the par-five 18th to tie Thongchai but his putt just slipped past and he then missed the return.

Thongchai won US$201,660, for the biggest pay day of his career, while Kennedy earned US$134,440.

The third day's bad weather meant the whole field had to finish their third round this morning. Thongchai shot a 64 to finish two strokes behind leader Lee Sung-man from Korea. Deaf golfer Lee led on 12 under for the tournament but fell back in the final round with a 77.