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HomesportsThai golfer Poom edged by Australia's Lee in Macau

Thai golfer Poom edged by Australia's Lee in Macau

Macau: Australia's Min Woo Lee recorded an exceptional two-shot wire-to-wire victory in the US$1 million Macao Open yesterday, for his first title in two years.

The tournament’s marquee player, ranked 46 in the world, hit crushing drives and holed putt after putt to card an eight-under-par 63 for an astonishing four-round aggregate of 30-under 254 — a new tournament record and two short of the Asian Tour record, although preferred lies were played on the first two days.

Thailand’s Poom Saksansin also fired a 63, like Lee bogey-free, and finished second after a fascinating final day dual between the big-hitting Australian and the tenacious little Thai golfer, hoping to replicate one of his giant-killing acts of the past.

Lee started the day with a two-shot lead over Poom and the margin was the same at the turn after both players pulled away from the field playing brilliant golf with four birdies apiece.

The turning point proved to be the par-five 13th, where Lee opened up a four-stroke cushion after he made an eagle, for the second day in row, against Poom’s par.

A wild drive a long way left on the short par-four 15th by Lee gave Poom a glimmer of hope, but his ball stayed away from trouble. He had a clear shot to the green and was able to avert disaster and make a comfortable par.

Predictably Poom refused to submit and made birdies on the next two holes to close the gap to two before they both made four on the par-five 18th.

Lee’s score smashed the event’s previous lowest winning total of 20 under, set by Australian Scott Hend in 2015 and was just two short of the Asian Tour record, which Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat set at the SAIL Open in 2009, at the Classic Golf and Country Club in India, when he finished 32 under.

It is Lee’s first victory since claiming the Scottish Open in July of 2021 and while he was winning in Macau, his sister and two-time Major winner Minjee Lee tied for 12th in the Buick LPGA Shanghai.

Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai closed with a 64 to finish in sole possession of third while Taiwan’s Lee Chieh-po, in with a 63, and Miguel Tabuena from the Philippines, who shot a 65, tied for fourth.

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