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Golf: India’s Rashid Khan wins second Asian Tour title in Chiangmai

Rashid Khan shot a closing 68 to beat fellow Indian Jyoti Randhawa and Thailand’s Thanyakon Khrongpha for the Chiangmai Golf Classic in northern Thailand. Photo: Asian Tour.

Rashid Khan shot a closing 68 to beat fellow Indian Jyoti Randhawa and Thailand’s Thanyakon Khrongpha for the Chiangmai Golf Classic in northern Thailand. Photo: Asian Tour.

November 16, 2014: Rashid Khan of India produced a gutsy performance to win his second Asian Tour title by one shot at the Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT on Sunday.

 

The 23-year-old Indian started the final round two shots behind overnight leader Thanyakon Khrongpha before rallying on the back nine to defeat the Thai and Jyoti Randhawa at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event. Khan fired a four-under-par 68 highlighted by four birdies on holes nine, 10, 12 and 14 for a 17-under-par total of 271 at Alpine Golf Resort Chiangmai.

 

Star invite Jason Dufner (66), last year’s PGA Championship winner, finished joint seventh on 11-under, while 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel (68) tied for 42nd on two-under.

 

Thanyakon three-putted for bogey on the 16th hole to slip out of contention, but a birdie on the last for a 71 earned him a tie for second place alongside Randhawa, who settled for a 69 after missing a 20-foot birdie attempt on 18 that would have forced a playoff.

 

Khan, who won US$135,000, said: “This win is really special because it is my second win this year and first outside of India. I was looking at the leaderboard and everyone was making a move. But I had faith in my game so heading into the last few holes, so I was very confident I could win the tournament.”

 

Khan was three shots back after Thanyakon opened with a birdie, but on his homeward nine the Indian seized the lead for the first time following a birdie on 12. He gained another shot on 14, but a crucial 15-foot par save on 15 proved to be the turning point.

 

“I found the bunker on the 15th hole,” Khan said. “I had a shot, but it was a tight line. It was very important because I only had a one-shot lead going into the 18th hole. That par gave me a bit of boost because I needed to maintain my one-shot lead. The last three holes were very exciting!”

 

Khan, who won his first Asian Tour title in March, reaped the benefits of working with his mental coach, Aparna Jain.

 

“You can see the result from this week. She was asking me about my tournament and I told her that I had a chance to win. She just told me to stay patient and now I’m the winner.”

 

Thanyakon, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medallist in the team golf event, was disappointed with his three-putt bogey on 16. He took consolation that his runner-up finish earned him a Tour card for the 2015 season, as he moved to 29th position on the Order of Merit.

 

“I three-putted and it came at the wrong time, but overall I’m very proud with my performance,” Thanyakon said. “I was a bit nervous after the turn, but a birdie on 13 made me feel relaxed. I fought hard out there, but Rashid deserves this win.”

 

Randhawa, an eight-time Asian Tour winner, put pressure on his young countryman when he posted a pair of birdies from the 14th hole. He was disappointed to miss the birdie on 18 to force extra time.

 

“I played under pressure these last two days and I managed to get my swing right,” said the 42-year-old. “These young guys look up to me and try to beat me, but now I have to keep up with them. I’m looking forward to it and I’m glad that I’m there and a threat to them.”

 

Chiangmai Golf Classic, Alpine Golf Resort, Chiangmai, Thailand

271 – Rashid KHAN (IND) 68-69-66-68.

272 – Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 68-65-70-69, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 69-65-67-71.

274 – Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 69-70-66-69.

275 – Mithun PERERA (SRI) 70-70-67-68, Kalem RICHARDSON (AUS) 71-69-64-71.

277 – Jason DUFNER (USA) 69-69-73-66, Danny CHIA (MAS) 74-68-68-67, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 73-66-68-70, Scott BARR (AUS) 68-69-67-73.

278 – Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 68-75-66-69, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 71-68-66-73.

279 – Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 71-70-68-70.

280 – Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 70-69-71-70, Brett MUNSON (USA) 73-70-67-70.

281 – Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 70-72-71-68, Javi COLOMO (ESP) 73-72-68-68, Chikka S (IND) 69-72-71-69, Paul PETERSON (USA) 70-70-71-70, Scott HEND (AUS) 72-69-70-70, MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 69-69-72-71, George GANDRANATA (INA) 66-72-72-71, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 70-71-69-71, LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 69-71-69-72.

 

Source: Asian Tour (www.asiantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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