Thai golfer Kammalas Namuangruk will never forget his first visit to Singapore after he captured the 69th Singapore Open Amateur Championship yesterday by a single stroke over compatriot Sangchai Kaewcharoen.
Kammalas, 24, had a blemish-free scorecard and closed with a two-under 68 and 276 total to hold off Sangchai (69) at the Singapore Island Country Club's Island Course.
Indian Viraj Ganapathy Madappa, who had tied for the overnight lead with the Thai duo, stumbled to a 71 and was third on 279.
Besides the trophy, Kammalas secured a coveted spot in next year's SMBC Singapore Open, a US$1 million (S$1.35 million) tournament sanctioned by both the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation. It will be held at Sentosa Golf Club from Jan 19 to 22.
He said: "I'm really happy, especially since this is my first time playing in Singapore. I was quite confident before the round but I did feel some pressure from my contemporaries whom I know are very skilled."
James Leow (71 and 280) was the highest-placed Singaporean in fourth, while defending champion Gregory Foo (69) was tied for fifth on 281 with Malaysian Ervin Chang (68), following the rain-delayed final round.