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Sunday, 03 June 2012
Thongchai Jaidee   (Getty Images)
Thongchai Jaidee (Getty Images)
Thongchai Jaidee won his first European Tour title outside Asia at the ISPS Handa Wales Open at a wet and windy Celtic Manor Resort.

The Thai golfer, who recorded all four of his previous victories on his home continent, closed with a one over par 72 for a six under total and a one stroke victory.

“I want to say thank you to all my family, all the supporters and the sponsors here,” he said. “Conditions were quite tough for me.

“I tried to hit everything on the fairway - that’s the main thing - then hit the ball on the green. It was very, very tough for me, not like Thailand!”

Dane Thomas Björn, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Dutchman Joost Luiten and South African Richard Sterne finished one shot behind on five under, with Ross Fisher and Paul McGinley two adrift in a tie for sixth.

England’s Fisher, who made his Ryder Cup debut at this venue two years ago, left with far fewer happy memories this time after being penalised a shot for slow play when one off the lead.

Fisher fell foul of European Tour rules when he took too long over shots at the 11th and 14th holes, exceeding the allocated 40 seconds on both occasions.

Fisher, two behind, failed to birdie the driveable par four, bogeyed the short 17th and finished with a two over par 73.

Former paratrooper Jaidee, the World Number 199, led by one overnight, but fell one behind after running up a double-bogey seven at the ninth.

At that point he had not had a single birdie, but he started for home with three in a row and was in control once he hole an 18 foot putt for another birdie on the 15th.

That gave Jaidee the luxury of being able to bogey the 16th and long 18th and still take the £300,000 first prize.

For Björn and Fernandez-Castaño, rounds of 68 and 67 were a great boost to their hopes of making this year's Ryder Cup, but the round of the day was a 65 from 45 year old McGinley.

The Irishman, one of Colin Montgomerie's vice-captains two years ago, did not drop a stroke and gave himself a chance of his first win for seven years when he birdied the difficult 16th into the wind and rain.

That is the hole forever to be remembered for Graeme McDowell's birdie against the Americans. McGinley hit a drive and three wood to 40 feet and made the putt.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JAIDEE, ThongchaiTHA18-6
T2FDEZ-CASTAÑO, GonzaloESP18-5
T2STERNE, RichardRSA18-5
T2BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-5
T2LUITEN, JoostNED18-5
T6MCGINLEY, PaulIRL18-4
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