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Chan Shih-chang claims inaugural Royal’s Cup Thailand

BANGKOK (AFP) – Taiwan’s Chan Shih-chang claimed the inaugural Royal’s Cup golf tournament in Thailand yesterday, capping off a stellar run of four days as clubhouse leader.

His last round four-under par 68, to finish 23 under for the tournament was enough to fend off Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana and American Sihwan Kim who came equal second and were three shots behind overall.

Sadom carded 68 while Sihwan fired a 70 yesterday.

Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong and Korea’s Bi-o Kim, were three shots behind in a tie for fourth.

Chan, 35, scored a hole-in-one on day two of the competition and had echoed the same brilliant form displayed in Thailand last year when he sealed a gripping last-hole victory in the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship.

“That ace kept me going as well. I was able to play my best game out there this week,” Chan said, acknowledging he hadn’t had a great start to the year with disappointing runs in Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Homegrown hero Sadom was a tournament hot favourite – fresh from winning the Singapore Open last month – but noted he felt overwhelmed by high expectations.

“Today it was a tough course for me, it was windy and I felt a lot of pressure. I feel like when I play in my home country there is a lot of pressure,” he said.

The Royal’s Cup at the Grand Prix Golf Club in Kanchanaburi is the first full Asian Tour event in Thailand this year and had a prize pool of USD400,000.

Players will now turn their attention to the USD1.5 million Saudi Arabian-funded International Series at the Black Mountain Golf Club at Hua Hin, Thailand, which tees off
on Thursday.

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