Play-off woe for Richie Ramsay and Catriona Matthew in India and Korea
SCOTTISH pair Richie Ramsay and Catriona Matthew both suffered the agony of losing a play-off yesterday as titles slipped away from them in Asia,
In Bangalore, overnight leader Ramsay lost out to former champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand on the first hole of their Indian Open play-off, while Matthew was pipped by Suzann Pettersen to the LPGA HanaBank Championship title in South Korea. The Swede drilled in a five-foot birdie putt on the third hole of play-off after blowing a big lead.
Wiratchant, who was two strokes off the lead after three rounds, caught up with Ramsay at 14-under 270 with a five-under 66 before clinching the title.
Ramsay, who was joint leader along with England’s James Morrison after the first round and sole leader over the subsequent two rounds, made a three-putt bogey on the 18th for a 68 that gave Wiratchant a chance. On the play-off hole, Ramsay hit his tee shot into a creek but managed a recovery of sorts as his third shot landed on the back of the green. His chip landed about 10 feet past the hole and he then two-putted for a double-bogey.
Wiratchant, the 2005 winner, also struggled but limited the damage to a two-putt bogey after hitting his second shot into the greenside bunker.
“I didn’t expect to win with the way I was driving the ball this week,” Wiratchant said. “It means a lot that I’ve won a second Indian Open title and that I’m now leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit. I’ve a good chance of winning now but I’ll need to continue my form. I’m looking forward to the end of the season.”
Wiratchant, who has won a record 15 Asian Tour titles, relied on a fine short game and finished with six birdies and a bogey in his final round.
“I think I only found two fairways in regulation and I didn’t see where Richie was on the 18th hole until the crowd started shouting. It was a huge surprise to me but I’m glad I won,” he added.
Two-times European Tour winner Ramsay said his performance on the last day was an “anomaly”.
“Stuff like that doesn’t usually happen to me,” he said. “I usually play better under pressure.”
Wiratchant’s compatriot Panuphol Pittayarat (67) finished third at 13 under.
In Incheon, South Korea, meanwhile Matthew came up just short after reeling in Pettersen. Seven strokes ahead of Matthew at the start of the round, Pettersen shot a two-over 74 to finish at 11-under 205 on Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course. The 43-year-old Matthew finished with a 67. They played the par-5 18th three times in the play-off, halving the first two extra holes with pars.
“I felt like I had it all in my hand the first time around, second time around, and the third,” said Pettersen the Norwegian who also won the 2007 event. “And, the third time around, I just made a solid stroke and it dropped.”
Pettersen had taken a five-stroke lead over South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu into the final round after opening with a course-record 63 and shooting a 68 on Saturday.
Matthew, from North Berwick, had a two-stroke lead after Pettersen’s double bogey on the par-3 12th but Pettersen rallied with a birdie on the par-4 14th and Matthew dropped a stroke on the par-4 16th to leave them tied at 11 under.
“My game felt great and I had a great warm-up this morning, but did not get off to a good start,” Pettersen said. “I made a few birdies on the back nine, but overall I felt like I played pretty good. But it was just not a scoring day.”
She also had a double bogey on the par-3 third and bogeyed the par-3 eighth. “After I bogeyed eight, I looked at my caddie, I said, ‘If I am going to bogey, I might as well just fire right at the pin. There’s no point playing safe’,” Pettersen said. “He said, ‘Why don’t you just play as aggressive as you have all week’. So I might have gone out trying to be a little bit protective, which obviously does not fit my game.”
Pettersen earned $270,000 to move into ninth place on the career list with $9,035,662, passing Beth Daniel and Laura Davies.
“As a girl growing up, I never thought I’d be in that league,” Pettersen said. “It is quite touching that I have achieved that much.
“I am only 31 and my big goal is the Olympics in four years. It is good to get a head start in Korea. It is always good to get in the winner’s circle.”
Michelle Wie closed with a 70 to tie for 30th at level par and Tiger Woods’ niece Cheyenne Woods shot a 75 to finish 60th in the 68-player field at seven over par.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West