Spain’s Sergio Garcia claimed his first title of 2013 with a four-shot victory over Henrik Stenson of Sweden in the Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi.
Garcia came into the final round four shots clear, but on-form Stenson began to apply the pressure towards the end of the front nine. When Garcia bogeyed the 7th hole the lead was trimmed to just two. Stenson could have levelled things had he converted makeable birdie chances at the 8th and 9th.
Garcia made a crucial par save on the 9th hole, then put the pedal to the metal with three straight birdies from the 10th. That run gave the Spaniard a large enough cushion, and he dealt well with the difficult closing holes, cruising home to seal a four-stroke victory over Stenson.
“It was great, an amazing week …. obviously being the last week of the year and having Katharina (Katharina Boehm – girlfriend) caddie for me,” said Garcia.
“I knew Henrik was going to make it difficult for me. He’s been playing so amazingly great, and he did. He kept hitting good shot after good shot. And then when I bogeyed seven, I had to make a good par save on nine after getting a bit unlucky with the approach shot. And then I made three very important birdies on the first three on the back nine and gave myself a little bit of a cushion.”
England’s Justin Rose had a slightly disappointing final round. He began the day just a shot behind Stenson, but the US Open champion couldn’t get it going on Sunday and he posted a level-par 72 to finish in a tie for fourth with defending champion Charl Schwartzel, Yuki Ono of Japan and India’s Anirban Lahiri. The latter also had a difficult fourth round – he posted a one-over-par 73.
Frenchman Alexander Levy finished the week alone in third place after a closing 69.
Sergio Garcia should move back to number 10 on the Official World Golf Ranking following this win.
Thailand Golf Championship
Amata Spring Country Club, Chonburi
Dec 11-14, purse $1,000,000, par 72
1 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 68 65 65 68 266 $180,000
2 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 70 67 65 68 270 $110,000
3 Alexander Levy (Fra) 70 65 70 69 274 $63,000
T4 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 68 73 67 67 275 $38,200
T4 Yuki Kono (Jap) 72 69 65 69 275 $38,200
T4 Justin Rose (Eng) 65 68 70 72 275 $38,200
T4 Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 71 64 67 73 275 $38,200
T8 Chapchai Nirat (Tha) 72 69 67 69 277 $22,950
T8 Rickie Fowler (USA) 70 66 71 70 277 $22,950
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage