Thailand’s Suteepat Prateeptienchai held a slender lead in a tense finish to the OB Golf Invitational, presented by Jababeka, edging Malaysia’s Ervin Chang by a single shot to win the US$70,000 Asian Development Tour event.
At the start of the day the leader Suteepat was one in front of Chang, who was four ahead of the remaining pack, meaning the contest was essentially theirs and theirs alone at the Jababeka Golf and Country Club. They matched blows on virtually every hole, both finishing with a score of 66.
Suteepat, who also won the BNI Ciputra Golfpreneur tournament last month, said he was comfortable playing in Indonesia with two victories, and said his consistency in the early rounds was essential to hold off the hard-charging Chang.
“The first two rounds were so good, they were the key to being champion,” he said after the round.
“Playing well with the driver was key, as the setup here was more difficult (compared to BSD).”
Malaysia’s Ervin Chang, edged by a single stroke. Picture by Yulius Martinus / OB Golf
Chang had the worst of openings with a bogey on the first hole, dropping him one shot further back.
The pair shared pars and then a birdie through the next four holes before the Malaysian was able to claw one back on the sixth hole.
Finally on the par-five 14th hole Chang’s eagle bested Suteepat’s birdie, putting the pair on level footing with four holes to play. The drama did not last for long though as the Thai player snatched back the advantage on the very next hole and was able to maintain his lead to the finish.
Eventually finishing six shots clear of their nearest challenger, the tussle for the remaining places was won by Thailand’s Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (68), claiming third with a 12-under-par score of 268.
Indonesia’s Jonathan Wijono put up something of a fight, only a late bogey forcing him into fourth place, while Jeremy Wendelken of the USA traded birdies and bogeys to finish with 69 and a solo fifth.
Lloyd Jefferson Go of the Philippines celebrates his lone birdie on the 18th green, his first after a string of 17 pars. Picture by Yulius Martinus / OB Golf
Sixth place was shared by the Thai pair of Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (68) and Piya Sawangarunporn (68), who came slightly unstuck on the back nine and dropping three shots. The group was completed by Lloyd Jefferson Go (69) of the Philippines, who posted a steady stream of pars for 17 holes before finally picking up a stroke on the last.
Kade McBride (70) of Australia and Sarun Sirithon of Thailand rounded out the top ten, sharing ninth place to finish with a combined score for the tournament of 263.
Round of the day, and the tournament, went to Thailand’s Tawit Polthai, who started the day at three over without breaking par for the first three rounds. He finally managed to unlock the secrets of the course on the final day, posting a fine 61 with a score marred only by a single bogey on the 16th hole.