Golf : Thongchai wins Scandinavian Masters in playoff





MALMÖ SKÅNE LÄN: Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee won the Scandinavian Masters after beating Stephen Gallacher and Victor Dubuisson on the first playoff hole in Sweden on Sunday. The 44-year-old clinched his sixth European Tour title, and his second in a playoff, when he birdied the par-five 18th to beat his opponents by a shot on the first hole of the shootout. Thongchai, who won the Ballantine’s Championship in similar fashion in 2009, carded a final-round 65 to finish with a 16-under 272, only to see his total matched by Dubuisson and Gallacher shortly afterwards. He held his nerve after both his opponents missed long birdie putts in the playoff to seal his first tour win in two years with a three-foot putt.
“I worked hard today,” Thongchai told the European Tour website. “I started with three birdies in a row, had another one on six, then a good comeback on 11 (where he made an eagle three). “We were nervous the last few holes - 16, 17 and 18 are tough holes - but 16 under was good enough for a playoff. “The golf course is wide open, you have to hit good golf shots and the weather helped a little bit.” Frenchman Dubuisson could have won the title in regulation play with a birdie at the 18th but missed his chance when he took three shots from just off green.
Scot Gallacher looked as though he had blown his chance with a bogey at the penultimate hole, but a courageous 20-foot putt at the next booked his place in the playoff. Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen finished fourth, matching Thongchai’s 65 to end one shot behind on 15 under. Home favourite Henrik Stenson, winner of the Race to Dubai and U.S. FedEX Cup in 2013, threw away the overnight lead he shared with Briton Eddie Pepperell with a disappointing final round of 71 to finish fifth. 

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