Golf: Thailand overcome 5-shot deficit to beat Singapore by 3 and lift third straight Putra Cup

Thailand's Napong Sriparsit celebrating a birdie on the 18th hole on the final day of the Putra Cup.
Thailand's Napong Sriparsit celebrating a birdie on the 18th hole on the final day of the Putra Cup.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - Thailand's golfers showed why they were favourites to win the Putra Cup on Friday (Sept 9), overcoming a five-shot deficit to pip hosts Singapore to the victory by three strokes.

It was their third straight South-east Asian Amateur team championship.

With a quartet that included three players from the Cup-winning squad last year, Thailand's top three performers on the day posted a combined 204 at the Tanah Merah Country Club's Garden Course for a four-day total of 828.

The Philippines took third place with 852, pipping Malaysia by one stroke,.

Thailand's Kammalas Namuangruk, who just two months ago won the Singapore Open Amateur Championship, wrested the individual crown from Singaporean Gregory Foo with a seven-under 273 total. He carded a 67 in his final round, which included one bogey and four birdies.

Meanwhile, only one Singapore golfer broke par for the day. Joshua Ho posted his best round of the week with a four-under 66, his five birdies offset by a bogey on the eighth hole.

But it was not enough to make up for his team-mates' scores. Marc Ong and Joshua Shou both signed for 74s and totalled 282 and 289 respectively.

Foo, who had held a one-shot lead over Kammalas going into the final round, carded a two-over 72 to finish on 277 and settle for fourth place in the individual competition.

The Philippines' Ruperto Zaragosa III shot a 67 to finish second, one stroke behind Kammalas.

Third was Ho on 275.

Said Foo, who admitted that by the time he walked onto the 18th green, he knew the Thais had won: "As a team, Joshua (Ho) still played really well. The rest of us just couldn't really get our rounds going.

"I wanted to finish well and we fought hard, but it's disappointing."

Apart from Ong, the team will head to Mexico later this month for the World Amateur Team Championship.

Said Foo: "We're still confident going into Mexico. Apart from today, we're still playing well, good golf, and team spirit is good."