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Thailand’s baby-faced assassin shoots down Rose, Stenson

Dec 16. 2018
Poom Saksansin poses with the trophy.
Poom Saksansin poses with the trophy.
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By The Nation

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Jakarta - THAILAND’S Poom Saksansin showed why he is a class act when he fended off challenges from his more illustrious rivals and fast-charging compatriots by closing with a four-under-par 68 to win the Indonesian Masters yesterday.

Despite his lowly world ranking of 239, Poom refused to be cowed into submission by world No 2 Justin Rose, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (No 27) and a host of Asian Tour champions assembled in Jakarta for the Asian Tour season finale.

“I really look up to Henrik [Stenson]. I was really happy when I saw his name in the field this week. I was hoping to play with him in the first two rounds actually. I was very happy when I finally get to play with him in the final round,” said Poom, 25, who won this event two years ago.

“I am very excited right now and looking forward to a better season next year. I can’t wait to come back and defend my title,” added Poom, dubbed the Baby-Faced Assassin for his youthful looks.

Like his first Indonesian Masters victory in 2016, Poom had his uncle, Pratya Ployprapai, on his bag again. Together, they forged another formidable partnership to win by three shots with a four-day total of 20-under-par 268.

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond started the day six shots behind Poom in third place, but stormed out in 32 and then birdied 10 and eagled 12 to lie within striking distance of his third Asian Tour title.

However, two dropped shots on 15 and 17 put paid to his hopes before eagle-three on 18 saw him end his Asian Tour season with seven top-10s and one victory.

Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat, who won his National open in June, claimed his third top-10 result of the season by finishing third with a bogey-free final round 66 at the US$750,000 event.

A charge by Stenson to deny Poom glory failed to materialise as the Swede’s putter went cold.

Defending champion Justin Rose had to finish tied-16th or better to move back to world No 1 but posted a disappointing 75 to finish tied-17th.

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