Veer Ahlawat top Indian in eighth place at Phuket

Phuket, Thailand, November 29: A strong finish with five birdies against just one bogey on the back nine of the fourth and final round saw young Veer Ahlawat record a fine Top-10 at the US$1million Blue Canyon Phuket Championship.

He finished T-8 and equalled his best finish in an Asian Tour event – he was T-8 at the Panasonic Open India in 2019.

In the first event on the Asian Tour after a 20-month hiatus, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ahlawat, twice runner-up on the domestic Indian Tour this year, was the best Indian with rounds of 70-70-67-67 for 14-under 274.

Shiv Kapur, who was tied with Ahlawat overnight, had a rough day with 74 and slipped to T-31, while Karandeep Kochhar (71) was T-23.

Among other Indians Aadil Bedi (70) was T-41st and Ajeetesh Sandhu (70) was T-51. S Chikkarangappa (72) and Viraj Madappa (71) who had good starts in the tournament finished T-55th and Khalin Joshi (71) was T-61 and Jeev Milkha Singh struggled to 80 on the final day and was 74th.

Chinese-Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang prevailed won the US$1million Championship. He shot a final round four-under-par 68 to finish on 18 under par and beat Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana and Joohyung Kim from Korea by one shot.

Sadom fired a 67 while teenager Kim returned 66 ‒ on the iconic Canyon Course at Blue Canyon Country Club.

Chan’s last win on the Asian Tour came in the 2016 Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup in Japan.  The 35 year old was paired in the final group with Korean Sihwan Kim and Sadom and despite eagling the ninth he was still three behind Sihwan Kim at the turn. But the Chinese-Taipei star showed why he is already a winner on Tour by birdieing four holes in a row from the 13th.

He was tied with Sadom on the par-four 18th hole, but while Chan got up and down from the front of the green to make par after holing out from four feet, the Thai player missed the green to the left with his approach and failed to make his 12-footer for par.  Chan picked up a cheque for US$180,000.

The Phuket events, called the Asian Tour Phuket Series, boast prize money of US$1million and will be followed by two events being planned in Singapore in January that will bring to a conclusion the 2020-21 season.

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