Sunday, 19 May 2013
Thongchai Jaidee congratulates Graeme McDowell after his 2&1 victory  (Getty Images)
Thongchai Jaidee congratulates Graeme McDowell after his 2&1 victory (Getty Images)

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Despite losing out to Graeme McDowell in the final of the Volvo World Match Play Championship, Thongchai Jaidee said he had plenty of positives to take away from Bulgaria.

Thailand’s Jaidee beat Thomas Aiken in the morning semi-final on Sunday to book a place in the afternoon’s final against the Northern Irishman and got off to the perfect start in brilliantly sunny conditions at the stunning Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Kavarna.

Having led early on in the engaging encounter following birdies at the second and fourth, he saw his two hole lead eroded by a persistent McDowell, who eventually drew level at the 12th before taking the tie 2&1 following wins at the 14th – when Jaidee bogeyed following a loose drive – and 15th, when the former US Open Champion found birdie.

Jaidee, though, refused to be negative following the runner-up finish - which propels him to seventh in The Race to Dubai - and praised his triumphant opponent.

“It’s been a very good week,” said Jaidee, a five-time European Tour winner. “I only made one mistake all day, on 14, the one bogey we had.  But I think it’s still been a solid week for me and congratulations to McDowell, it was very good play. 

“For me, it's not losing to come second, that's a good finish for me.  That's big enough for me this week.  I don't mind about not winning, to come to second in such a big tournament is very good.

“He holed a lot of critical putts.  He never missed a putt, especially to save par - that's where the game changed a little bit.”

Jaidee’s second place in Bulgaria, at the 48th edition of the World Match Play, is a continuation of what has been a fine season thus far, having amassed five top ten finishes in nine starts on The European Tour and he was philosophical after the near miss.

“I’ll look ahead,” Jaidee continued. “There are lots of big tournaments coming up and if I keep performing like right now then I’ll have a good chance of winning.”

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