The Ballantine’s Championship might only be in its third year of existence in 2010, but already the tournament is developing the reputation as an event of genuine excitement and thrills. Both the 2008 and 2009 tournaments ended in a play-off with, last year, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee coming out on top in a tussle with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño of Spain and Korea’s Kang Sung-hoon.
Pinx Golf Club on Jeju Island may be renowned for its winds but the severity of the gusts on Saturday in particular, along with the plummeting temperatures saw only one player out of 74 – François Delamontagne – break the par of 72.
Jaidee battled to a 77 to share third place going into the final day, four shots adrift of leader Robert-Jan Derksen, but when the Dutchman slipped back, Jaidee seized his chance and a closing 70 saw him finish level with Fernandez-Castaño and Kang on four under par 284.
Second to Michael Hoey in Portugal and Scott Strange in China in his previous two outings, Fernandez-Castaño was desperate to avoid an unwanted hat-trick, but so it transpired as Jaidee took the glory at the first time of asking on the 18th, a stunning eight iron approach to four feet setting up a winning birdie three.