Sunday, December 2, 2007

First Cambodian golf tournament ends with American win

GOLF / JW CAMBODIAN OPEN

Saltus secures maiden win with a hot putter

Prom and Thaworn share third place

Siem Reap _ American ace Bryan Saltus secured his maiden Asian Tour title at the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open after a solid five-under-par 67 in the final round yesterday.

Saltus reaped the rewards of his new putter this week firing six birdies against a lone bogey for a winning total of 17-under-par 271 at the Phokeethra Country Club.

The 36-year-old champion walked away with the top prize of US$47,550 and rose up to 30th place on the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit.

"This is awesome. I would like to dedicate this win to Grateful Dead as they have inspired me all the way. Siem Reap is right up my alley so I've enjoyed my time on and off the course this week," said Saltus.

Overnight leader Adam Groom of Australia posted a 71 to claim lone second spot as he finished three strokes behind the winner in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.

Thai duo of Thaworn Wiratchant and Prom Meesawat recorded matching 70s to claim joint third position after a 277 total

Thanks to a new Gel putter which he picked up this week, Saltus got off to a flying start chalking up three birdies in his first three holes.

He extended his lead with a birdie on the 10th and ended his captivating run with a final birdie on the 17th hole.

"My putting has been the winning formula this week," Saltus said.

Despite a slow final round with five birdies against four bogeys, Malaysia's Danny Chia posted a 67 for his best finish this season in joint fifth spot alongside Korea's Kang Ji-man who shot a 66.

Chapchai Nirat of Thailand ended his campaign with a 73 to claim tied eighth position together with Englands Yasin Ali who was even-par for the day.

"My overall game was steady this week but I couldn't really sustain it throughout 18 holes," said Chapchai. " I am not disappointed with my result. I was tired the entire week and hung in there to finish in the top-10 which was my target".

Chapchai Nirat climbed up to second spot on the UBS Order of Merit ranking after earning US$7,065 for his efforts this week.

LEADING FINAL ROUND SCORES

271 _ Bryan Saltus (USA) 66-67-71-67

274 _ Adam Groom (AUS) 65-68-70-71

277 _ Prom Meesawat (THA) 69-69-69-70, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 70-70-67-70

278 _ Danny Chia (MAS) 74-68-69-67, Kang Ji-man (KOR) 74-70-68-66

279 _ Anthony Kang (USA) 67-69-71-72

280 _ Chapchai Nirat (THA) 68-71-68-73, Yasin Ali (ENG) 72-68-68-72

281 _ Harmeet Kahlon (IND) 69-69-73-70

282 _ Jerome Delariarte (PHI) 70-72-70-70, Panuwat Muenlek (THA) 70-69-73-70

283 _ Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 74-72-69-68, Guido Van Der Valk (NLD) 77-68-70-68, Michael Hoey (IRL) 70-73-69-71, Peter Karmis (RSA) 72-70-71-70, Boonchu Ruangkit (THA) 69-72-69-73

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