Australia’s Andrew Dodt staged a dramatic fight back with a closing five-under-par 67 to lift the inaugural True Thailand Classic presented by Black Mountain trophy on Sunday.
Dodt’s winning total of 16-under-par 272 at the Black Mountain Golf Club left him speechless as his second victory on the region’s premier Tour finally ended a five-year title drought.
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee’s double-bogey on 13 effectively ended all hopes of a local winner at the US$2 million Thai showpiece as he signed off with a 71 to share second place with overnight leader Scott Hend of Australia at the richest golf tournament in Thailand.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat meanwhile bounced back from the disappointment of missing the cut in Malaysia to enjoy a tied-fourth finish alongside Canada’s Richard T. Lee and Jason Knutzon of the United States following a 274 total.
After five years, Dodt completed his remarkable return to the winner’s circle with a performance that left him searching for words.
“There are no thoughts at the moment. I’m speechless,” said the Australian, who started the day four shots back of Hend.
But it was Dodt’s ability to stay patient that made all difference.
After a hat-trick of birdies from his opening first hole, the 29-year-old parred his next eight holes before picking up further gains on 12 and 15 which effectively sealed his win.
“Those three birdies really kept the momentum going and I hung on after that.
“The winds picked up on the back-nine and it got pretty tricky towards the end and I tried to play as sensibly as I could. I’m glad I did it,” said Dodt.
Thongchai delighted the home crowd when he surged in contention following birdies on the first and 12 holes.
However a costly double-bogey on 13 pegged him back.
“I made some mistakes with the club selection especially on 13. The pin positions were tough especially on the back-nine,” said Thongchai.
The Thai had an eagle putt on the last to win, but he left it 10 feet short and missed the birdie attempt which would have forced a play-off with Dodt.
“I tried my best. But it’s okay. Andrew was a deserving winner as he put up a great performance. I’ll try again the next time,” said Thongchai.
Hend had an encouraging start after he birdied two of his opening four holes.
But it went downhill after that as he bogeyed the seventh, 14th and 17th holes which eventually saw him close with a 72.
“I pressed for the win on 17 and got a bit aggressive with my bunker shot, and I finished one shot behind. I came here to try to win.
“All in all it was a good solid week and there are a lot of positives to take out of it. It’s good to see Dodty winning, fantastic. Obviously I wish it was me standing there winning, but congratulations to him,” said Hend.
Leading scores after round 4 of the True Thailand Classic presented by Black Mountain being played at the par 72, 7359 Yards Black Mountain course (am – denotes amateur):
272 – Andrew DODT (AUS) 71-67-67-67.
273 – Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 69-66-67-71, Scott HEND (AUS) 67-68-66-72.
274 – Richard T. LEE (CAN) 68-67-73-66, Jason KNUTZON (USA) 72-66-69-67, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 67-67-70-70.
275 – Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 65-72-72-66, Johan CARLSSON (SWE) 69-67-70-69, Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 72-65-68-70, Miguel JIMENEZ (ESP) 67-66-69-73.
276 – John PARRY (ENG) 71-69-70-66, Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 69-69-71-67, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 66-73-69-68, Alex NOREN (SWE) 67-70-68-71.
277 – Anthony WALL (ENG) 72-68-70-67, Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 68-69-71-69, Jorge CAMPILLO (ESP) 73-68-66-70, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 71-70-65-71, Javi COLOMO (ESP) 74-67-65-71, Richard GREEN (AUS) 71-67-67-72.
278 – Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 69-72-70-67, Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA) 67-73-70-68, Nathan HOLMAN (AUS) 71-67-71-69, Berry HENSON (USA) 70-69-69-70.