Wood holds on for maiden title
Sunday, 12 August 2012
Chris Wood held off a fast-finishing Dong-kyu Jang to claim his maiden professional win with a two-shot victory at the Thailand Open, while Scott Arnold and David McKenzie shared 10th place to be the highest-ranked Australians.
McKenzie came in to Sunday's final round three shots behind overnight leader Wood but saw his title hopes fade early after dropping shots at holes three and four before recovering to finish on 16 under overall, seven shots adrift of Wood.
In contrast, Arnold started with three straight birdies to set up a five-under 67, tainted only by a late bogey on the 17th that cost him a share of seventh place.
Michael Wright and Peter O'Malley were the next best placed Australians after carding final-round 67s and 68s respectively to finish tied 15th on 15 under.
European Tour regular Wood, making his first appearance on the OneAsia Tour, took a one-shot lead in to the final round at the Suwan Golf & Country Club and never looked troubled in his final-round 67, with a bogey on the par-four eighth his only blemish.
The Englishman finished on 23 under, two shots ahead of Jang.
Starting the final round six shots adrift of Wood, Jang shot in to contention following a bogey-free 63 that included seven birdies and an eagle.
The South Korean rolled in four birdies and an eagle in his first five holes before adding three more birdies to card the day's lowest score.
Thailand duo Wisut Artjanawat and Arnond Vongvanji shared third place on 20 under with South Korean Dong-hwan Lee.
New Zealand's Mark Brown carded a 65 in his final round to take sixth place on 18 under, with Japan's Yasunori Yoshida, South Korea's Meen-Whee Kim and Taiwan's Shih-chang Chan a shot back in a tie for seventh.
Wood, who has two top-three finishes on the European Tour to his name this season, pocketed US $180,686 for his victory.