Thailand’s Sarit Suwannarut brought the Asian Tour season to a memorable conclusion after an emphatic four-stroke victory in the US$1.5 million BNI Indonesian Masters presented by TNE.
The 24 year old fired a closing four-under-par 68, for a four-round aggregate of 20 under, at Royale Jakarta Golf Club to claim his first Asian Tour title, while Indian Anirban Lahiri, the winner here in 2014, finished in second place after carding a 66.
Chinese-Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, both returned 69s to tie for third, five behind the winner.
McDowell enjoyed an eventful final round which included five birdies and a pair of dropped shots.
GMac was level through six after a birdie and a bogey before embarking on a run of four birdies in six holes with a clumsy bogey on the par-5 12th sandwiched in between.
Waterford’s Kevin Phelan secured a share of 20th place courtesy of a one-under 71 for a seven-under total. A good result considering he was battling to make the cut.
The 2013 Walker Cup player had a quiet day carding two birdies and just the one dropped shot. Phelan’s back nine consisted of eight pars and the lone birdie on 13 which saw him end the round in the red and edge into the top-20.
American Sihwan Kim wrapped up the Asian Tour Order of Merit (OOM) title after finishing in a tie for 28th, while Scott Vincent from Zimbabwe secured the International Series OOM, by finishing in equal 10th position.
The weather, which had caused numerous delays since Thursday, had a final say today when lightning stopped play with Sarit having two holes left to play and with a comfortable five-shot lead. Play resumed at about 75 minutes later with the rising Thai star able to par his way home.
“I think I almost cried coming down the 18th,” said Sarit.
“I just can’t put into words how I feel. I am just happy. I didn’t feel the pressure that much, I was just enjoying my game. I have just enjoyed the whole week.
“I worked with my coach last week and we discovered something with the set up. I wasn’t hitting it good for the Pro Am and the first round but we looked at the video and decided to squat more and get my chin up a little bit, just small things that made a really big impact.”
Delays caused by bad weather over the first three days, meant Sarit had to complete the final four holes of his third round early this morning, following a 6.45am restart.
He parred 15, 16, and 17 before holing a testing 12 footer for a birdie on the 18th to lead on 16 under by three from countryman Kosuke Hamamoto.
And he was never threatened in the final round making the turn in three under with a birdie on six and an eagle on nine before more birdies on 12 and 15. His only dropped shot came on 16 before the badly timed weather delay added more pressure to the closing stages.
He added: “It’s been a really tough year. I had COVID at the start of the year, later I couldn’t get a visa for Korea, and I was battling to keep my card at one point. I am so happy.”