Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee produced a flawless final round to claim victory at the Porsche European Open in Germany ahead of Englishman Graeme Storm.
Overnight leader Jaidee posted four birdies in his bogey-free round of 67 yesterday to finish on 17 under, one shot ahead of Storm, to secure his seventh European Tour title.
Jaidee had Storm level with him until the 17th, when the latter found the water with his tee shot, leading to his sole bogey of the day. Storm had to settle for finishing runner up for the second time in the European Open, ten years after claiming the same position behind Kennie Ferrie at The K Club.
Overtaking Colin Montgomerie as the competition’s oldest winner, the 45-year-old Jaidee then sealed his triumph with a fine six-foot putt on the 18th.
Sweden’s Pelle Edberg was third, two shots behind Storm, Scott Hend, of Australia, was fourth and Wales’ Jamie Donaldson and England’s Ross Fisher were among four players tied for fifth.
Jaidee said afterwards: “It’s a very special week for me. It is the third time I have won outside Asia, so I’m very excited about that. I’m feeling very confident. I didn’t make many mistakes this week – only one bogey all week. I played very nicely and 17 under is some score for me. I liked the golf course. It’s not very long and you have to keep it in play.
“Graeme Storm played very well too. It was very exciting on the last three holes. The 18th is tough and you can’t miss the fairway.
“I had to go left and then it was a good chip and a good putt at the last to win.”
Despite coming so close, Storm was not too disappointed with his week’s work.
He said: “I’m very pleased. To finish second like in Switzerland last year is disappointing but I’ve secured my card and I’ve got a job again for next year. That was the main thing at the start of the week and today as well. Maybe I could have holed a few more putts and the title would be mine, but congratulations to Thongchai, he made a great up and down on the last.
“I felt I played great today under pressure. I was nervous out there. Yesterday I didn’t play great but I hung in there, but today I played great and missed a few chances. It wasn’t meant to be.
“The chip on the last was important. I didn’t want to make bogey there after 17. I knew Pelle was coming up 18 and he was going to be one behind if I missed that. So it was vital to finish second on my own and I’m looking forward to trying to qualify for the Race to Dubai final rather than having to go to Q School. It’s amazing to think all of a sudden I might be able to qualify for that.”