By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The 33-year-old softly-spoken Thai was neck-and-neck with young gun Settee at 15 under-par 269 after the final regulation hole at the par-71 Mae Jo Golf Resort course. But a two-foot birdie on the extra hole propelled him to his first victory since the Thai PGA Tour event in Nakhon Nayok in June 2017.
“I’m so overwhelmed to finally win. I wasn’t playing well at the beginning and felt under pressure,” said Kwanchai after his second win on the All Thailand Golf Tour. His previous ATGT win was at the 2013 Singha Pattaya Open.
“I was so excited before the play-off. I thought my chances were 50-50 because Settee was hitting so well. But my experience really helped me to win the playoff,” added Kwanchai who returned home Bt300,000 richer.
“This win really gave me my confidence back as I was struggling with my driver over the past few years. I hope to carry this momentum into the rest of the season,” said Kwanchai who will play mainly on the ATGT, Asian Tour and Thai PGA |Tour.
Settee, 24 from Chon Buri, sank a finishing birdie to catch Kwanchai at 15 under. But his bid to grab a first professional win fell short when his approach shot landed a distance from the flag while Kwanchai’s shot stopped just two feet from the hole.
“I was giving my all out there,” said Settee, in search of a first |win after several runners-up positions.
“I made a wrong decision in the playoff. But at least I created several opportunities for myself today,” said Settee who earned Bt185,000 for second.
“I was a bit disappointed not be able to win again. But to win a tournament, everything must come together – luck and ability. If I keep working hard, my day will come,” he added.
On 13-under-par 271 in lone third was Raththee Sirithanakunsak. World No 74 Jazz Janewattananond, Namchok Tantipokhakul and Suradit Yongcharoenchai followed three shots behind, each on 274.