Harrington and Daly back on the winning trail
The Irishman and the 24-year-old Thai headed down the last level at 16-under but both found trouble. Harrington hit his tee shot to the edge of the hazard, with the Thai failing to capitalise by dumping his second in the water en route to a double- bogey 6, while the Irishman recovered to record a par 4.
“I had a bad break on the 18th hole when I hit my tee shot and it rolled to the edge of the hazard,” said Harrington. “I was about to chip my ball sideways to the fairway but when Thanyakon hit it into the water, there was no point to take a chance. So I went back to the fairway and hit my 6-iron for my best shot of the week.”
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The victory was Harrington’s first at a full-field tournament since he lifted the 2010 Johor Open title, also on the Asian Tour. “Winning is a good habit to have. It gives you a lot of confidence and I need that confidence,” the world No 385 said. “I didn’t start too well but I came through and I got the win. This win brings a lot of confidence to my game and hopefully it will show up next year.”
Harrington and Thanyakon were two of 46 players who returned early on Sunday to finish their third rounds after bad weather had halted play.
A birdie, bogey and three pars saw Harrington sign off his third round with a four-under-par 67 and a four-shot lead over Thanyakon (71). But the Irishman, who won the 2007 and 2008 British Opens, had a tough start to his final round, opening with a bogey 6 and then recorded a double bogey 5 at the seventh to allow Thanyakon to erase the deficit.
A two-hour rain delay disrupted Thanyakon’s momentum, however, and the Irishman eventually prevailed with a 71.
“It was a great final round from me but I was under so much pressure on the last hole,” said the Thai, who finished with a 69. “I’m still happy with how I played. The rain delay stopped my momentum. It wasn’t good. The pressure made me scared.”
Harrington’s win came the day after two-times major champion John Daly claimed his first professional win in ten years – one that came in the same week as he proposed to long-time girlfriend, Anna Cladakis.
Daly capitalised on his second-round lead by carding a level-par 72 at Gloria Hotels & Resorts’ New Course in Turkey to win the 2014 Beko Classic with a total of 201, 15-under.
The American took the honours in the 13th PGAs of Europe-sanctioned edition of the event, donating his $8,000 winner’s cheque to local charities. It was his first win since the Buick Invitational play-off win at Torrey Pines in 2004:
“It feels great to win – as pros we try to build on confidence so any time you win anything it boosts it,” said Daly. “It’s pretty much my last tournament of the year so I can hopefully go into 2015 with some extra confidence.”
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