Young Thai talent Sadom Kaewkanjana became the record fastest Qualifying School graduate to win on the Asian Tour after surviving a nail-biting finish to clinch the US$350,000 Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open by one shot on Saturday.
Sadom, playing in his first Asian Tour start this season, extended his overnight two-shot lead to four with two opening birdies but had to fend off the spirited challenge from India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu after dropping three consecutive bogeys from the 13th to blow the title race wide open.“Winning in my first start on the Asian Tour, I feel very happy.
I will take a lot of positives from this week and this win will give me a lot of confidence in my game as well. It’s been an unbelievable journey since turning professional last December,” said Sadom.The 20-year-old Thai, however, fought back gallantly with successive birdies on 16 and 17 to give himself a one-shot advantage over Sandhu, who dropped his first bogey in 63 holes on the par-five 17, heading into the last at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
After hitting his tee shot on the par-four 18 to behind the tree on the left, Sadom chipped it back to the middle of the fairway before hitting to about eight feet. He would eventually nail that par putt to close with a one-under-par 70 and a winning total of 19-under-par 265.“My putter, however, went cold after the first three holes but thankfully I got it back in my closing three holes. I wasn’t feeling the nerves actually.
I was just thinking about making birdies, especially after dropping three bogeys in-a-row. I told myself I need to make birdies to get it back. I am glad I did it,” he added.Sadom, who joined the play-for-pay ranks last December, was thrilled to produce a dramatic turnaround in the closing stage to claim his first Asian Tour victory and a second win as a professional after breaking through on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in February.
With this win, he would also become the third Thai after Thitiphun Chuayprakong (2016) and Jazz Janewattananond (2017) to win the National Open of Bangladesh, which is celebrating its fifth consecutive edition on the Asian Tour this week.“My initial goal was just to keep my Asian Tour card for the next season but now I have won on both the Asian Development Tour and the Asian Tour.
I am really happy. I didn’t expect to do so well,” the Thai said.Sandhu, a one-time Asian Tour winner, closed with a second straight 65 to take second place while his compatriot Rashid Khan capped a second straight top-10 finish on the region’s premier Tour after battling to a 70 to settle two shots back in third.Australia’s Maverick Antcliff posted a 70 to finish in fourth place on 272 while Jazz, highest-ranked player in the field this week, settled a further shot back in tied-fifth after closing with a 69.Zamal Hossain Mollah emerged as the best-placed Bangladeshi for the second year straight after closing with a 65 to finish in tied-10th place.Sadom will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$63,000 and receive 14 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, thanks to his victory.
The Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open 2019 welcomed a new title sponsor in the National Bank Ltd, a public limited bank in Bangladesh. The tournament has been named in honour of the father of the nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.