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Friday, 19 March 2010
Ballantine's Championship - Round Four  (Getty Images)
Ballantine's Championship - Round Four (Getty Images)

Thongchai Jaidee has won the Ballantine's Championship following a play-off after the tournament on Jeju Island's Pinx Golf Club ended in a three-way tie.

The Thai golfer trailed third round leader Robert-Jan Derksen by four shots coming into the final day.

But as the Dutchman fell away, Jaidee shot a two under par round of 70 to move into joint first alongside Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and local player Kang Sung-hoon on four under overall - forcing an extra hole at the par four 18th.

After both he and Kang placed their second shots close to the pin, the 39 year old had to wait as Jeju Island native Kang placed his birdie attempt from six feet just wide of the hole.

He then stepped up and holed his own putt from five feet to win his second co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event of the year following his success at the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open in March.

“I played very well all week,” said Jaidee.

“The only bad thing, like last week, was the putting at times. There were five or six holes I three putted but I made the important ones and that's what matters. I think the main thing is if you are putting well for this course, you'll have a good chance to win the tournament.

“I was thinking that if I win the tournament, it would be 12th on Asian Tour and fourth I’ve won on The European Tour in my life. That's one very good thing.

“I think this win, the prize money is bigger than my win last time, bigger prize money.  Also I think that I'll be close to the Top 50 in the World Rankings, and that's my target.

"I have a lot of people to thank this week - my caddie, the guys at Callaway, I couldn't have got through the week without my FT-9 driver! But most importantly I have to thank my family for their support. I phoned home every day this week, and one of the nights my son said to me: 'Daddy, I want you to bring the trophy home for me.' I am so happy to be able to do that for him."

Jaidee had trailed Fernandez-Castaño then Kang by one shot for most of the fourth round.

But, when the leading duo dropped shots at the 17th and 18th respectively, Jaidee held par throughout his final eight holes after earlier carding three birdies and a bogey to force the extra hole.

He had to watch nervously, however, as both of his opponents had chances to pull further ahead after reaching the 18th green in three shots during their regular round.

Fernandez-Castaño trailed Derksen by five shots at the start of play this morning, but a round of three under 69 including four birdies and an eagle at the fourth, pushed the runner-up from last week's Volvo China Open in Beijing to the top of the leaderboard.

Kang, a regular on the Korean Tour, moved up on early leaders Fernandez-Castaño and Pablo Martin after ten holes at four under after making a charge with two birdies and a tenth hole eagle in only his third event on The European Tour after featuring in China last week and at this same tournament last year.

Another eagle at the 16th after dropping a shot a hole earlier pushed him into a one shot lead as he took to the final hole.

There he had the chance for a birdie to move further into the lead and all but cement his first tournament win, but he three putted his attempt to drop back to four under 68.

Fernandez-Castaño was next up at the final hole, but his long putt attempt at a birdie stopped just short, and he still made par to leave the two tied in first place with Jaidee who still had two holes to play.

The Thai golfer was still level with the leaders as he began his final hole thanks to a birdie after the turn. After finding the fairway he made the green with his third shot, but left himself with a long putt to make birdie and win the tournament.

His first attempt missed and continued a good six foot beyond the hole to leave his place in the play-off in doubt.

But he holed the attempt at par to card a two under 70 on the day and join Kang and Fernandez-Castaño in the shootout.

Click here to listen to winner Thongchai Jaidee's interview with Nick Dye

Click here to listen to interviews from the Ballantine's Championship

Click here to watch the Day 4 Highlights from the Ballantine's Championship

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1FDEZ-CASTAÑO, GonzaloESP18-4
T1JAIDEE, ThongchaiTHA18-4
T1KANG, Sung-hoonKOR18-4
T4ELS, ErnieRSA18-2
T4DERKSEN, Robert-JanNED18-2
T4BENSON, SeveENG18-2
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