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HomesportsThai phenom Denwit seals hat-trick of wins

Thai phenom Denwit seals hat-trick of wins

Riyadh: Denwit Boriboonsub completed a rare hat-trick of titles on Sunday when he recorded a three-shot victory in the US$1 million Saudi Open at Riyadh Golf Club.

The 19-year-old Thai, who won the Thailand Open on the All Thailand Golf Tour last week and the Aramco Invitational on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) the week before, shot a final-round seven-under-par 64 for a four-round-aggregate of 18-under 266.

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson raced through with a 65 to secure second place while Travis Smyth from Australia was third after a 67 in an event that brought to a conclusion the Asian Tour’s 23-event, US$35 million season.

Phachara Khongwatmai from Thailand, the overnight leader, signed off with a 70 and tied for fourth, five behind the champion, with his nation’s brilliant young amateur Ratchanon “TK” Chantananuwant, in with a 66, and Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma, who closed with a 67.

Denwit also has the distinction of becoming the first player to win the final events of the year on both the Asian Tour and ADT, as the Aramco Invitational was also the season-ender.

He started one back from Phachara and dominated the final day.

Three birdies in-a-row from the first and again from 11 were the mark of a player on top of his game. He made eight birdies in total and dropped just one shot.

At the turn he had a two-shot lead, which was the gap he had playing the last, where he closed with a birdie to put the icing on the cake.

He also made par saving clutch putts from eight feet on 15 and 17 to fend off his pursuers.

“It is an unbelievable feeling because it is incredible winning three weeks in a row. It is like magic!” said the Thai youngster who won $180,000 and leapt into 21st place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit from 133rd.

“I was really confident before coming to this week because I just know my game. I hit my drives good, my irons and putting were also good, so my goal this week was to win. Fortunately, I made it.”

This was only Denwit’s 15th start on the Asian Tour, and he mirrors the performance of American Henson back in 2011 by winning on the Asian Tour a fortnight after claiming an ADT event.

Three weeks ago, on the eve of the Aramco Invitational, he was 30th on the ADT Merit list and facing an uncertain future before a lifechanging month of golf.

He said: “[At Aramco] I told my caddie that there is nothing to lose now. If we didn’t make this tournament we had to go to Q School but I just tried to play my best and hopefully just make top three but luckily I won it.”

Former British Open champion Stenson, playing in the third from last group out, made a valiant late run making four consecutive birdies from the 12th and another on 17 but he ran out of holes.

He said: “It’s been a good week here in Riyadh. It’s been my first trip to the capital. I came in with two months off, so it was a good opportunity for me to kind of see where we’re at and what needs to be worked more on when we start preparing for next year in the middle of January.”

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