Sentosa: Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana secured the biggest title of his fledgling career yesterday when he won the US$1.25 million SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club.
Sadom, the joint-overnight leader, fired a composed bogey-free 69 on the Serapong Course to finish on 13 under and beat Japan’s Yuto Katsuragawa and Kim Joo-Hyung from South Korea by three strokes.
Katsuragawa returned a 68 while Kim wrapped up the Asian Tour Order of Merit title after signing for 69.
Kim Si-Hwan, who started the day sharing the lead, carded a 73 to take fourth place.
All four players booked their tickets to this year’s Open Championship at St Andrews as this week’s event is part of the Open Qualifying Series.
The 23-year-old Sadom was never really challenged on an extremely hot day.
After Kim Si-Hwan made bogey on the first, Sadom took the outright lead and did not look back. Birdies on six and seven saw him move three ahead and he calmly parred his way home and enjoyed the comfort of a three-shot lead playing 18.
Sadom picked up a cheque for $225,000 and finished the year in second place on the Merit list, with $378,972.
The victory continued Sadom’s remarkable recent run of form: in the final three months of last year, he won five times in Thailand, including the Thailand Open.
“This is amazing, it wasn’t easy,” said Sadom, who was also bogey free on Saturday.
“It has taken a lot of hard work to get here, especially over the last two years. This is a great way to start the year. I hope it’s the start of a great year.”
Kim Joo-Hyung, aged 19, fought hard to catch him but it was not to be his day.
He said: “Just trying to grind it out. It’s too bad, I felt like I had a shot, but obviously I couldn’t be so aggressive because just knowing that I had The Open on the line as well.”
He becomes the second youngest winner of the coveted Merit title after compatriot Noh Seung-Yul.
The tournament’s star player, Paul Casey from England produced his best performance of the week by shooting 66 to tie for 16th, while Thailand’s 14-year-old amateur sensation Ratchanon Chantananuwat closed with a 71 to finish equal 34th.
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