Manila: Both Rahil Gangjee and SSP Chawrasia had a winning possibilities when they turned in for the back nine on the final day of the USD 1 million Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday.
While Gangjee went flat on the final stretch, Chawrasia unraveled with two double bogeys. However, Gangjee hung in for a tied-fifth place and Chawrasia plummeted to tied-14th.
Among other Indians, Jyoti Randhawa was on fire in the final round with a 65 that saw him finish tied-25th at seven-under for the week.
S Chikkarangappa (69) was six-under 282 and tied-32nd, Shiv Kapur (68) and Shubhankar Sharma (72) were tied-53rd at two-under 286 and Chiragh Kumar (70) was two-over 290 and 64th.
The 22-year-old newcomer, Natipong Srithong from Thailand claimed a thrilling one-shot victory and became the second Thai rookie to win in successive weeks on the Asian Tour.
He carded 67 to overcome a four-shot deficit and total 15-under 273 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
"I enjoyed the first few holes, birdie, birdie, birdie start. In the final round, everybody is looking for those starts to try and catch up with the leaders and get a peak. Played well on the
front nine but made a bogey on 12 but bounced back with a good birdie on 13. After that it was a flat line," Gangjee said.
"I played decently well this week. Finishing with that putt for par on 18 was a big thing as that would help me keep my card. Now, I'll try to get back into the top-30 as that's where the big money is," he added.
Chawrasia, who is fourth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, was understandably disappointed.
"I had a chance (of even winning) but I did not capitalise on it. Still my game is coming back and there are some more events left," he said.
South African Jbe Kruger, who had a bogey-double bogey on ninth and 10th, closed with a 71, while overnight leader Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei, who sank a magical hole-in-one, endured a topsy turvy 73 including a double bogey on 18th, dropped to a share of the third place with countryman Lee Chieh-po (70).
Gangjee, American Chan Kim, Thailand's Prom Meesawat and
Carlos Pigem of Spain shared fifth place.
Natipong turned professional in September after winning the individual and team gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games. The final year law undergraduate played on a sponsor's invitation this week and earned USD 180,000 top prize for his remarkable victory.
The talented Thai needed only four events as a professional to emulate close friend and fellow rookie, Danthai Boonma who won in Singapore last week. Overnight leader Hung endured a horrific start, dropping four shots in six holes before fighting back with a magical ace on 13 with a finely struck two iron tee shot that won him a VIP aircraft service package worth USD 250,000.
Birdies on 15 and 16 saw him tie Natipong with one to play but an errant drive into the bushes saw the 23-year-old Hung's hopes fade as he double bogeyed the last.