Gangjee 9th, Jaini falters; Thaworn wins 17th title

Samui: Rahil Gangjee fired a flawless three-under 68 in the final round to notch up the best finish among all the Indians in fray at tied ninth in the Queen`s Cup at the Santiburi Golf and Country Club here on Sunday.

Gangjee rose from overnight tied 13th to tied ninth and was the best among the Indians.

After the fourth place at the Championships at Laguna in Singapore, this was Gangjee`s second successive top-10 finish and he stays fourth on Asian Tour Order of Merit, which is led by Anirban Lahiri.

Meanwhile, Manav Jaini the best placed Indian overnight stumbled on the front nine with four bogeys and a double bogey and could manage only one birdie on the back nine to shoot a round of 76 and slip to tied 28th, down from seventh.

Thai superstar Thaworn Wiratchant rallied from five shots back to win an unprecedented 17th Asian Tour victory with a classy one-stroke triumph.

The 47-year-old Thaworn holed a five-foot birdie putt on the closing hole to pip overnight leader Poom Saksansin with a final round of five-under 66 to lift the Queen`s Cup for the second time in three years.

Jyoti Randhawa (68) was tied 14th with a total of four-under 280, while Rashid Khan (70), Shankar Das (71) and Anirban Lahiri (74) were tied 37th at three-over 287.

Chiragh Kumar (73) was tied 61st and Digvijay Singh (79) was 67th.

Thai rookie Poom, who had led since the opening day, settled for the runner-up spot in the USD 300,000 tournament after a closing 72 while Bangladeshi star Siddikur Rahman, who briefly held the lead on the back nine, signed off with a disappointing 72 to share third place with Thailand`s Donlapatchai Niyomchon (68).

"It is so meaningful to me, whether it`s a small or big tournament. At every tournament, I am always trying my best. There was pressure this morning as I wanted to go out there and play some good golf," said a delighted Thaworn, whose winner`s cheque of USD 54,000 lifted his career earnings on Tour to over USD four million.

The unorthodox swinging Thaworn surged into a one-shot lead with a birdie on 14 but made life difficult for himself by dropping a bogey on 17 after missing a four-foot par attempt.

With Poom, who was wobbly with an outward 39, fighting back with birdies on 16 and 17 to make it a three-way tie going into the final hole, Thaworn`s experience came through in the end.

Siddikur was disappointed he let victory slip from his grasp and was kicking himself with a closing bogey which dropped him into a share of third place.

Korea`s Baek Seuk-hyun was fifth on 276 while Singapore`s Choo Tze Huang grabbed his first top-10 on the Asian Tour with a closing 68 for tied sixth place.