Namchok survives play-off to win Boonchu Ruangkit Championship
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, December 24: Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul defeated countryman Chanachok Dejpiratanamongkol on the second play-off hole to win his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Namchok, who held a five-shot lead heading into the final round, fired three birdies in his opening five holes but dropped a shot on nine to turn in 33. He stumbled with another double-bogey on 12 before trading two bogeys against a birdie in the next four holes.
It was a crucial four-footer birdie putt on the last hole 18 which saw him close with an even-par 71 to force extra time with Channachok, who had returned with a 66, at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club. The duo was tied on 14-under-par 270 total in regulation play.
Namchok and Chanachok parred the first play-off hole held on the par-four 18 after missing a five-footer and eight-footer respectively. It was a sensational 12-feet eagle putt that sealed the deal for Namchok on the same hole as Chanachok missed his eagle putt from 20 feet.
“I started very well but I struggled with my mental game for a while in the middle of the round. I hit it into the water on the 12th hole and ended up with a double-bogey there and three-putted the next hole for bogey.
“I missed a lot of putts today. The only one I made was probably the one on the last which helped me get into the play-off!” said Namchok, who had earlier eagled the 18th hole in the second round of the tournament.
Namchok, who last won on the ADT in 2015, was thrilled to end his season on a high note with the victory, especially after missing out on his 2018 Asian Tour card following a 67th place finish on the Order of Merit last week.
“I was really nervous heading into the end of the round but when I knew I got into the play-off with Chanachok, I told myself to just enjoy the process and not think about the result. Chanachok is like my brother so we were both having fun out there,” Namchok added.
Namchok, who had led from start to finish, will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$21,492 and receive eight Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points following his victory.
Despite missing out on his second ADT win this season, Chanachok tipped his hat to good friend Namchok for being a deserving winner.
“I played well today to give myself a chance in the play-off. I am happy with my result although I didn’t win. Namchok is my good friend and we had fun out there. I feel very happy for Namchok too,” said the 23-year-old Chanachok.
Starting the round with a five-shot deficit, Chanachok returned with a flawless round highlighted by one eagle and three birdies, including two closing birdies on 17 and 18, to go the distance with Namchok.
“Before heading out today, I told myself to stay as relaxed as I can. I wasn’t really feeling well last night but after a good sleep, I felt better today. I knew I can play well on this course so I just focused on my own game,” added Chanachok, who held a three-shot lead heading into the final round before finishing tied-10th last year.
Thanyakon Khrongpha, Chinnarat Phadungsil and Jazz Janewattananond ensured a strong Thai presence on the leaderboard after signing for respective rounds of 66, 66 and 67 to share third place on 271 at the ฿4 million (approximately US$120,000) event.
Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas was crowned the 2017 ADT Order of Merit champion following the conclusion of the season-ending Boonchu Ruangkit Championship. Pannakorn closed with a 68 to finish in tied-31st place and cap a season’s haul of US$55,859.
Japanese Masaru Takahashi, American John Catlin, Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun and Nattawat Suvajanakorn of Thailand, who finished second, third, fourth and fifth respectively on the Order of Merit, also earned playing rights on the region’s premier Tour for 2018.
Leading final round scores:
270 – Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 63 67 69 71, Chanachok DEJPIRATANAMONGKOL (THA) 66 67 71 66
271 – Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 73 65 67 66, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 72 66 67 66, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 68 70 66 67
272 – Ronnachai JAMNONG (THA) 73 68 68 63, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 73 68 66 65, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 67 70 67 68
273 – Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA) 70 69 67 67, Peradol PANYATHANASEDH (THA) 69 69 67 68
274 – Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 69 68 73 64
275 – Berry HENSON (USA) 68 71 71 65, Chaiphat KOONMARK (THA) 70 67 71 67, Natipong SRITHONG (THA) 72 69 67 67, Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) 70 66 70 69, Blake SNYDER (USA) 70 67 69 69, Tanapat PICHAIKOOLL (A) (THA) 70 69 66 70
276 – Oscar ZETTERWALL (SWE) 70 70 69 67, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 69 67 69 71
277 – Sorachut HANSAPIBAN (THA) 71 68 67 71, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 69 68 68 72, KOH Deng Shan (SGP) 69 73 63 72, Janne KASKE (FIN) 69 67 68 73
278 – Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 65 73 70 70, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 71 68 69 70, Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 68 70 69 71