Seldom has a player led in each of the rounds to win a professional title at the Delhi Golf Club course. Seldom has a leader squandered the advantage so many times only to regain it through the weekend. Seldom has a front-runner triple-bogeyed a hole and yet stayed in control to win with a short, par-putt on the final hole!
Australia’s Wade Ormsby did all this and more on way to his maiden title in 13 seasons as a professional.
Ormsby, 33, attained his breakthrough title by beating back the challenge of veteran Thai Boochu Ruangkit in the closing stages of the $300,000 Panasonic Open golf championship here.
Ormsby shot a one-under 71 for a one-stroke victory. Ormsby’s tally of nine-under 279 was worth $54,000. Ruangkit, in joint lead midway through his final hole, settled for a 69 and collected $33,000.
Lam Chih Bing, who started the day a stroke behind Ormsby, shared the lead for two holes and finished with a par round for the third place, worth $18,900.
Kapur finishes fourth
Shiv Kapur was the best Indian on view despite losing out a chance for a better finish following two bogeys on the last three holes. He eventually received $15,000 for taking the fourth spot.
On this eventful day when lead changed hands and as many as three players stayed jointly ahead, Ormsby’s strong finish pushed into the background Ruangkit’s memorable bid to add to the five Asian Tour titles, the last of which came in 2004. The Thai was also aiming to become the oldest man, at 56, to win a title on the Asian Tour.
“It means so much. I’ve played tournaments worldwide but to finally get a win in Asia is fantastic. I felt pretty good on the fourth tee but I just put my head down and tried to get down into it and birdied the fifth,” said Ormsby.
Raungkit sounded proud of his effort. “I’ve shown that I still have what it takes to compete against the younger boys but I just ran out of steam towards the end. But overall, it has been a good week and all I can say is never write off an old man!”
A twist to the tale
There was a twist to the tale early on Sunday when Ormsby triple-bogeyed the par-4 third hole – after finding the bushes on either side of the fairway – to slip to six-under and handed over the lead to Lam and Ruangkit at seven-under. But credit to his self-belief and focus, Ormsby steadily picked up three birdies to move back into the lead at nine-under.
Ormsby’s bogey on the 12th hole and Ruangkit’s birdie on the 14th left the Thai in the lead at nine-under.
Ruangkit, who turns 57, next month, committed the day’s only error when he drove and putted poorly on the 16th to drop a shot.
It took a long putt on the par-3 17th hole to put Ormsby ahead for one last time. Ruangkit failed to get a birdie on the final hole. This left Ormsby needing to hold par to raise the trophy. He did both with minimum of fuss.
Wade Ormsby (Aus) (67, 67, 74, 71) 279; Boochu Ruangkit (Tha) (70, 68, 73, 69) 280; Lam Chih Bing (Sin) (67, 69, 73, 72) 281; Shiv Kapur (71, 68, 72, 71) 282; S.S.P. Chowrasia (69, 69, 77, 68), Anura Rohana (Sri) (71, 72, 71, 69), Digvijay Singh (71, 71, 71, 70) 283; Richard T. Lee (Can) (72, 68, 77, 67), Shamim Khan (73, 75, 67, 69) 284.