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Golf: Westwood trumps Chapchai for third Indonesian Masters title

Lee Westwood needed a playoff to win his third CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters. Photo: Asian Tour.

Lee Westwood triumphed in a playoff to win his third CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters title. Photo: Asian Tour.

April 26, 2015: Lee Westwood fended off Chapchai Nirat by defeating him at the first playoff hole to clinch his third CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters presented by Enjoy Jakarta Golf title on Sunday.

 

The former World No. 1’s bid to claim his hat-trick of titles at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event was secured when he birdied the 18th hole in the playoff as Chapchai, a four-time Asian Tour winner, could only make par.

 

“There are a lot of good players on the Asian Tour now and the standard is getting higher on this Tour and it’s harder to come over here and win, especially today,” Westwood said.

 

“It’s nice to come back and play with them on their own Tour where they get to show everybody in Asia how good they are. To come to this tournament this week and win it three times is obviously extra special.”

 

The Englishman appeared to be cruising towards an emphatic victory until successive bogeys on 16 and 17 blew the title race wide open.

 

Westwood still had the opportunity to win with a birdie at the last, but misread the green and was forced to settle for a par and seven-under total of 281. However, after returning to the 18th hole for extra-time, Westwood made no mistake from the same place.

 

“It was a tough putt coming into the hill over on 18. I misread it slightly and hit it to about five feet and missed it. But fortunately in the playoff, I hit it to the exact same spot, I knew the line and it was a nice straight putt for the win,” Westwood said.

 

“I’ve never been beaten around this golf course which is great and this win will give me the confidence for the year ahead.”

 

Despite falling short in his bid for the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters title, Chapchai remained upbeat about his season ahead.

 

The Thai, who holds the world 72-hole scoring record, surmounted a late charge by storming up the leaderboard with seven birdies and one bogey to force Westwood into a playoff, where the 31-year-old found trouble when his second shot landed in a bunker.

 

After hitting out from the sand, his ball finished about 10 feet from the pin, so handing the advantage to Westwood, who went on to sink his decisive birdie putt.

 

“When I started out, I told myself a top-three finish would be fantastic, considering how good Lee has played this week. Getting into the playoff was a bonus and I’m very proud of myself despite the defeat,” Chapchai said.

 

“I managed to sort out my putting this week and that’s important as it’ll help in the long season ahead.”

 

Kalem Richardson (67) finished third on six-under, one ahead of European Tour star Thomas Bjorn (70), while YE Yang, Asia’s first male Major winner, closed with a 71 to share fifth place on four-under with Thitiphun Chuayprakong (69) of Thailand.

 

CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters (Asian Tour), Royale Jakarta GC, Indonesia

281 – Lee WESTWOOD (ENG) 69-74-65-73, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 68-74-73-66.

*Westwood defeated Chapchai at the first play-off hole with a birdie

282 – Kalem RICHARDSON (AUS) 75-70-70-67.

283 – Thomas BJORN (DEN) 66-76-71-70.

284 – Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 71-77-67-69, Y.E. YANG (KOR) 73-71-69-71.

285 – Angelo QUE (PHI) 72-75-72-66.

286 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 71-73-73-69, Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 73-72-72-69, Berry HENSON (USA) 75-72-69-70.

287 – Matthew GILES (AUS) 74-73-71-69, Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 73-76-69-69, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 73-74-69-71, Bryce EASTON (RSA) 73-77-65-72.

288 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 71-76-71-70, Raphael DE SOUSA (SUI) 72-76-68-72, Yosuke TSUKADA (JPN) 71-71-73-73, Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 74-71-70-73, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 71-76-68-73.

 

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

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