2019 Mercuries Taiwan Masters

TAMSUI, Chinese Taipei: Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai pocketed his career’s biggest prize cheque and win when he held on for a one-shot victory after his closest rivals failed to mount a challenge at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Sunday.

Suradit, who started his final round at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club one shot back of overnight leaders, Ajeetesh Sandhu of India and Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena, closed with a two-under-par 70 to clinch his breakthrough on the Asian Tour where he made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2015.

Suradit started well with a birdie on his third hole but gave two shots back with a double-bogey six on the next hole. The Thai was quick to make amends when he charged to the turn with three birdies in his next four holes.

But after making another birdie on 13, he dropped a shot on 14 before making four straight pars to sign off with a four-day total of 10-under-par 278.

The Thai was left to wait for close to 30 minutes where he watched the final group in action from the sidelines.

While Sandhu signed off with a birdie, a costly double-bogey on 16 effectively ruined his chances of clinching his second Asian Tour title.

Tabuena had the best chance to force a play-off with Suradit on 18 but his approach landed in the bunker from where he could not get his ball onto the green, resulting in a bogey, which also confirmed Suradit’s entry into the winner’s circle for the first time.

Did you know?

– Suradit Yongcharoenchai turned professional at the young age of 17.

– Before his breakthrough this week, Suradit’s career-best finishes on the Asian Tour came at the Indonesian Masters and TAKE Solution Masters in 2016 and 2018 respectively where he finished tied-second on both occasions.

– The Thai enjoyed his best-ever Asian Tour season in 2018, finishing 34th on the Order of Merit with US$134,246 in earnings and four top-10 finishes.

– Miguel Tabuena is a two-time Asian Tour winner.

– He won his first Asian Tour title on home soil in 2015. He became the first Filipino to win his National Open since 2008 at just 21-years-old.

– Tabuena has now recorded two runner-up finishes at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2016 and 2019.

– Mardan Mamat recorded his first top-10 in three years with his tied-fifth finish this week. Prior to this week, his eighth place finish in Perth, Australia in 2016 was the last time he finished inside the top-10.

– Despite ending the week in a share of 28th place, Australia’s Scott Hend has secured his place for the upcoming WGC-HSBC Champions which will be held in Shanghai later this month.