New Delhi: Australian Wade Ormsby claimed a nerve-jangling maiden Asian Tour golf title at the Panasonic Open India to deny Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit from a historic victory at the Delhi Golf Club on Sunday. Ormsby overcame a disastrous triple bogey on the third hole to shoot a final round one-under-par 71 to win the $300,000 tournament by one stroke from the 56-year-old Boonchu, who was bidding to become the oldest winner on the region's premier Tour.
The wire-to-wire win earned Ormsby's the winner's cheque of $54,000 and moved him up to eighth place on the Order of Merit. Singapore's Lam Chih Bing, who led briefly during the final round, settled for third place after carding a level par 72 while Shiv Kapur's search for a first win on his home course was extended after he bogeyed two of his last three holes to finish three shots behind Ormsby in fourth position.
Ormsby, who held at least a share of the lead from the opening day, birdied the second hole but stumbled badly with a seven at the next hole. However, the Aussie showed great character by shooting birdies on the fifth, seventh and eighth holes to stay in the title hunt. He bogeyed the 12th and needed an 18-foot birdie conversion on 17 which proved decisive as Boonchu's title challenge faded with a bogey on 16.
"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.
Boonchu, who was bidding to become the oldest winner in the Asian Tour history, seemed on course to create history but a costly bogey on the 16th put paid to all hopes. Despite finishing third, Lam found the much needed self-belief again. The 36-year-old was seeking to end his five-year title drought and losing his Tour card last season was a rude awakening for him.
As the top-three players at the Panasonic Open India, Ormsby, Boonchu and Lam will be extended invitations to the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation, in Osaka, Japan in September.