Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee has won the Ballantine’s Championship at Pinx Golf Club in South Korea after a playoff against Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and home favourite Sung-Hoon Kang.
Jaidee trailed overnight leader Robert-Jan Derksen of Holland by four shots coming into the final round but the Dutchman fell away with a four over par 76. That opened the door for the chasing pack.
Fernandez-Castano, runner-up at last week’s Volvo China Open, started fast with two birdies and an eagle on the front nine. Kang, a Korean tour regular, fired two eagles on the back nine and when he reached the final hole he had a one shot lead. But the home player took three putts on the last green to drop back into a tie with Jaidee and Fernandez-Castano.
Fernandez-Castano then had a chance to break clear of the field on the closing hole but his birdie effort came up just short. Jaidee parred the last eight holes and, when his birdie putt slid by at the final hole, it was confirmed there would be a playoff.
So, the three players returned to the 18th tee for the first extra hole. Both Jaidee and Kang put their approach shots in close and, after Kang’s effort had slipped past, Jaidee had the chance to take the title. He duly rolled his putt home to claim his second European Tour victory of the season and the fourth of his career.
“I think this win, the prize money is bigger than my win last time. Also I think that I’ll be close to the Top 50 in the World Rankings, and that’s my target.” Said Jaidee.
Pinx GC, Jeju Island, South Korea
Apr 23-26, purse €2,100,000, par 72
1 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 66 71 77 70 284 €350,000
T2 Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Esp) 65 74 76 69 284 €182,395
T2 Sung-Hoon Kang (Kor) 69 71 76 68 284 €182,395
T4 Seve Benson (Eng) 69 70 78 69 286 €82,635
T4 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 68 72 76 70 286 €82,635
T4 Robert-Jan Derksen (Ned) 66 69 75 76 286 €82,635
T4 Ernie Els (RSA) 68 74 73 71 286 €82,635
T8 Peter Lawrie (Ire) 70 75 76 66 287 €47,180
T8 Mardan Mamat (Sin) 69 70 77 71 287 €47,180
T8 Danny Willett (Eng) 69 76 73 69 287 €47,180
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
GM blogger Robin Barwick has been reporting from the 2009 Ballantine’s
Championship. Check out his Ballantine’s Blog below…