• The 26-year-old birdied the 18th to win after Karlsson had fought back
• Marc Warren finishes third and qualifies for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT | PAUL LAWRIE MATCH PLAY
Kiradech Aphibarnrat held off a resurgent Robert Karlsson to win the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play on the final hole.
The 26-year-old was 3UP with four holes to play at Murcar Links but got into trouble at the par-4 15th, while Swede Karlsson also took both the 16th and 17th to make the match all-square heading down the last.
But Aphibarnrat, who also won the Shenzhen International earlier this year, held his nerve to post a birdie on the 18th, with Karlsson only managing par.
“I was striking the ball well and hitting it so good on the front nine, but then I lost a bit of energy and control,” said Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who has moved up to No.67 in the world rankings.
"I just came here and tried to enjoy the whole experience of playing in Scotland" - Kiradech Aphibarnrat
“I started pulling some drives but I have to say I putted very well today and sank a lot of important putts – especially the putt to win which was very short but it was great to see it hit the middle of the hole.
“I didn’t have too high expectations this week but I just came here and tried to enjoy the whole experience of playing in Scotland.”
En route to his third European Tour victory, Aphibarnrat denied the chance of a Scottish winner after seeing off the highest ranked player in the field, Marc Warren, in the semi-finals 3&2.
Warren was then beaten by David Howell in the third place play-off in the afternoon, but revealed his delight at moving into the world’s top 50 and thus securing a spot at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
“It was a possibility at the start of the week to qualify for the Bridgestone, another WGC and obviously delighted to be in that,” said Warren.
“I've booked a flight for Tuesday. I’ll have a little bit of practice Wednesday, play a few holes. I feel as if I kind of know the course a little bit, watching it so much on TV. I go there with obviously limited knowledge having not been there myself, but I know a few of the holes. I’m just going to have to try and get used to the greens and different grass, etc as quickly as possible.”
Kiradech Aphibarnrat :: PL Match Play winner
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