Bogey-free final round 67 gives the Thai a one-shot victory over Graeme Storm
Thongchai Jaidee won the Porsche European Open after a bogey-free final round of 67. He became the 21st man this season on the European Tour to convert a position at the head of the leaderboard at the end of the third round to an ultimate victory.
Jaidee needed a par at the last hole and, after his approach from 210 yards out from the first cut of rough clattered off a spectator building got up and down to beat runner-up Graeme Storm by a shot.
Englishman Storm had moved into the outright lead after birdies on 9, 10, 12 and 15, but landed his tee shot on the par-3 17th in a hazard and made bogey.
Pelle Edberg bogeyed his opening two holes, but three successive birdies at the start the back nine helped him to a two-under 68 and the final podium position.
The best round of the day, 65 by Scott Hend, took the Australian into fourth spot.
Talking points at the Porsche European Open:
He is the second player in his forties to win on The European Tour this season after 40-year-old Søren Kjeldsen won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation.
2. This is the third victory by a Thai golfer on The European Tour in 2015 after Kiradech Aphibarnrat triumphed at the Volvo China Open and Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play.
It is the first time Thailand have recorded three European Tour victories in the same season and only the second time two different Thais have won on The European Tour in the same season. The first was in 2005 when Jaidee won the Malaysian Open and Thaworn Wiratchant the Indonesian Open.
3. With the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour having such a limited field, this left some PGA Tour players kicking their heels. Hunter Mahan was one of them, and as he explained after his first round 66: “I felt like I wanted to be out on the golf course and keep playing and I’m excited to be here.” His excitement probably dimed a little after his second round 76 which meant his missed the cut.
Graeme McDowell was another who was playing after failing to make the Tour Championship. His season has been a poor one, with 21 tournaments played, seven missed seven cuts and only one top-10 finish – which came in his first outing of the year.
“I’m very happy to be here and am looking to resurrect my game,” he explained of his appearance at The European Open. “It has been a very average year. Missing the play-offs has given me chance to take some time off and hit the reset button. I’m starting my 2016 campaign this week and my Ryder Cup campaign. Golf is a tough game sometimes and it has felt more difficult this year for me than it has in the past. But it makes you appreciate the good times in the past and I’m looking forward to good times ahead.”
He had a good time in the first round, with a 68, and then followed it with three successive 70s, a steady performance that saw him into a tie for 36th.
4 Maximilian Kieffer made his 22nd cut of the season and now has the longest active streak of cuts made on The European Tour. But the 25-year-old German’s record is one of consistency rather than excellence as has only five top 10s finishes in this run, only one of them inside the top 7. He finished tied in 48th.
Porsche European Open
Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, Bavaria, Germany
September 24-27, 2015
Purse: €2,000,000, par 71
1 Thongchai Jaidee 68 68 64 67 267 € 333,330
2 Graeme Storm 65 67 69 67 268 € 222,220
3 Pelle Edberg 67 71 63 69 270 € 125,200
4 Scott Hend 69 69 68 65 271 €100,000
T5 Lucas Bjerregaard 68 68 68 68 272 €66,200
T5 Jamie Donaldson 67 68 67 70 272 €66,200
T5 Rikard Karlberg 68 71 66 67 272 €66,200
T5 Ross Fisher 67 65 69 71 272 €66,200
T9 John Parry 66 70 70 67 273 €40,533
T9 Soren Kjeldsen 66 70 67 70 273 €40,533
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage