Kiradech beats Nitties to win the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth
Perth, Australia, February 11: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand beat James Nitties of Australia 2&1 to win the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth on Sunday.
The 28-year-old golfer recovered brilliantly from being 1-down after two holes to win three consecutive holes and beat his opponent in the grand finals of the A$1.75 million (approximately US$1.25 million) event.
“It has been an awesome week. In the last few months, I’ve been getting really close at winning a tournament and I’ve finally I’ve done it,” said a visibly excited Kiradech.
“Every single shot counts especially in matchplay. Every single match was tough. James (Nitties) was playing so well, and he was just unlucky at the end. The drive at the fourth matchplay hole was one of the best tee shots in my life so far.
“I’ve played the 18th hole so many times, I can recognise almost every single feature there. And, to play with a young and talented player like Lucas (Herbert) was an honour. He hits the ball miles and his confidence is massive. I did not look beyond James, of course, but I felt that I have one hand on the trophy after beating Lucas. The young golfer is definitely one of the strongest in the field and one to watch.
“There were many times when I felt that I would be eliminated from the tournament. Winning any event is never easy. I pushed myself and I’m glad that things turned out the way it did.
“I knew that I made a mistake at the first hole of the final, but in matchplay, things can turn around very quickly. James is pretty unlucky for the day. The shots he missed, he found it difficult to recover. I pushed myself to make the putt at the fourth hole, and I’m glad I managed to do it.
“The most difficult aspect of this golf course are the bunkers. If you can avoid them, you can put together a pretty good score. The concept is great. I’m sure you would have attracted more fans after this tournament. This victory means a lot to me. It is particularly rewarding when you focus on something and try very hard.”
Kiradech progressed to Sunday after winning a tense, four-hole playoff over Australia’s Anthony Quayle at the end of round three.
After besting Ben Eccles of Australia 1-up in the first round, Kiradech beat 2017 Japan Golf Tour number one Yusaku Miyazato in a close match that stretched to the fifth Knockout Hole.
He went on to defeat Sean Crocker of the United States 1-up in the quarter finals and Lucas Herbert of Australia in the semi-finals at the first Knockout Hole.
Nitties beat fellow Australians Nick Cullen, Dimitrios Papadatos and Callan O’Reilly as well as England’s Sam Horsfield at Lake Karrinyup Country Club before meeting Kiradech in the finals.
In the match for third place, Herbert beat Horsfield 3&1.
Asian Tour players Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Poom Saksansin, Prom Meesawat and Yi-keun Chang also played in the knockout matchplay rounds of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.
In the first round, Thailand’s Pavit established the pace with a birdie at the second hole, but he eventually lost to Australia’s Callan O’Reilly 2&1. Compatriot Poom was narrowly eliminated by Marcus Fraser of Australia at the sixth Knockout Hole.
Prom, who received a bye into the second round, got knocked out of the competition by amateur golfer Min Woo Lee 2-up. Lee was in irresistible form, scoring five birdies against Prom.
Chang of Korea made it to the second round after defeating Zander Lombard of South Africa 3&2. However, he was eliminated by Australia’s Brad Kennedy at the first Knockout Hole.
Did you know:
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat did not get a chance to practice at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club as he flew into Perth the evening prior to the tournament.
- He was the last player to enter the competition, the last player to enter the matchplay knockout rounds and the last man standing.
- Kiradech has won a matchplay event in his professional career previously, at the 2015 Paul Lawrie Matchplay.
- He will be competing at the Brunei Championships, an event on the Asian Development Tour, from March 7 to 10.
- James Nitties’ most recent professional win was the South Pacific Open Championship in 2015. He beat the field by six shots.
- Nitties played the Knockout Hole only once enroute to the finals, in round one against Nick Cullen.
- He finished tied-68th in last year’s ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth after carding 70 73.
- Prom Meesawat earned A$25,000 by virtue of finishing in first place after 54 holes. Sean Crocker of the United States, Lucas Herbert of Australia and Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark split another A$25,000 for their tied-second finish.
- The Knockout Hole was played from a new tee box located approximately 80 to 90 metres from the 18th green on the right-hand side of the 18th fairway.
(This news story on www.pargolf.in is brought to you by Dr. Lal PathLabs Ltd. official sponsor of Indo Nippon Golf Cup 2018)