Thailand’s Itthipat Burantanyarat rediscovered his winning form when he fired a seven-under-par 64 to win by two shots in the final round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Thai broke his three-year title drought on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) by staying focused on a pressure-filled final day to clinch the ?4 million (approximately US$121,700) event with his winning total of 26-under-par 258.
Itthipat will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$21,862.98 and receive 10 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points following his victory at the fifth edition of the event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.
American Johannes Veerman made a final charge with a 63, to share second place on a 260 total with England’s Steve Lewton, who ended his campaign with a 66 at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.
Starting the round with a one-shot deficit, the Thai grabbed birdies on holes three, five and seven to make the turn in 32. He made another birdie on hole 10 before dropping his first shot of the day on hole 11 after hitting his tee shot into the water.
“On hole 11 I hit it in the water and made bogey which made me a little nervous with everyone catching up. But I was still able to control my emotions and rely on my short game.
I made three birdies in a row from there which really gave me that last bit of confidence going into the last hole,” added the Thai, who bounced back with four more birdies on his way home.
Itthipat claimed his maiden ADT victory in 2015 in the Philippines and went on to win again the year after in Singapore.
The Thai, who successfully made the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, is thrilled to find his groove so early on in the season and hopes that it will provide a timely boost as he aims to win his maiden victory on region’s premier Tour.
“I am very happy to be finally back to winning on the ADT. Winning on home course and in a tournament under Boonchu’s name. I have wanted to win this tournament so bad and I finally did it.
“My game wasn’t that good and I was struggling for a bit the last couple of years. But now I am just confident in my game and it gives me confidence to win on the Asian Tour,” added Itthipat.
Veerman, the 2016 ADT Order of Merit winner, took pride in his performance at the ADT season-opener where he marked his card with one eagle, seven birdies and a bogey.
“It was a great day today. I knew I had to put pressure on those guys, they’re great players and the course is scorable, so to come out strong was great.
“It’s nice that my last tournament of the year last season on the Asian Tour ended well, and I was able to carry that form into this year. I’m not putting any expectations on myself but it encourages me because my game is where I want it to be,” said the 26-year-old American.
The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.
Leading final round scores:
258 – Itthipat Buranatanyarat 66 64 64 64
260 – Johannes Veerman 65 68 64 63, Steve Lewton 64 62 68 66
261 – Mathiam Keyser 65 67 65 64
262 – Jazz Janewattananond 63 64 66 69
Full results and OOM click here.