Tournament ambassador Thongchai Jaidee was in the hunt for an emotional victory on home soil as the True Thailand Classic presented by Black Mountain reached an exciting conclusion.
Jaidee, with six titles the most successful Thai player in European Tour history, found himself tied for the lead with Australian Andrew Dodt entering the closing holes at Black Mountain Golf Club.
Overnight leader Scott Hend had initially gone two shots clear in the final round with birdies at the second and fourth.
But the Australian three putted the seventh and 14th, and having added no further birdies had slipped one behind.
Dodt capitalised on his compatriot’s errors by following a hat-trick of birdies from the first with efforts from five feet at the 12th and 20 feet at the 15th.
A winner in India back in 2010, Dodt had to fight his way through November’s Qualifying School to regain his playing privileges having not had a top-ten finish since.
Jaidee swiftly joined him at the top of the leaderboard, having initially taken a share of the lead with a birdie from five feet at the first.
A run of ten straight pars saw him lose ground, but the former paratrooper did make a gain from six feet at the 12th.
His challenge looked to be in jeopardy when he ran up a double bogey seven at the long next after finding the hazard with his second, but Jaidee responded with birdies from 15 feet at the 14th and tap-in range at the next following a brilliant approach.
Hend still wasn’t out of it with three holes to play, with Richard T Lee and Jason Knutzon in the clubhouse on 14 under and Kiradech Aphibarnrat on the same mark coming down the last.
Miguel Angel Jiménez’s bid to extend his own record as The European Tour’s oldest winner had started well with back-to-back birdies kicking off his fourth round, but the 51 year old Spaniard then had three bogeys in an outward 37 and at 13 under looked to have run out of holes.
Jaidee three-putted the 16th after his initial effort rolled off the green, and with Dodt chalking off a par at 17 he headed for the 18th with a one shot lead.
Hend and Jaidee both drove into a greenside bunker at the reachable par four 17th, but neither took advantage – Hend almost flying his second straight into the water and bogeying, while Jaidee came up 20 feet short of the pin and had to settle for par.
Dodt, however, failed to birdie the par five last so Jaidee still had a chance, with an eagle required for victory and a four enough to force a play-off.