Aphibarnrat wins Super 6 match play after last-minute entry
Thai player went all the way through to take victory on a marathon final day in Perth
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat holds the trophy after winning the World Super 6 in Perth. Photo: Greg Wood/Getty Images
Kiradech Aphibarnrat justified his late decision to play in Australia when he survived a marathon final day to claim the World Super 6 in Perth title on Sunday.
The affable Thai sank an eight-foot birdie putt to beat Australian James Nitties 2&1 in the final at Lake Karrinyup.
Aphibarnrat was the final player to qualify for the match play phase -- the top 24 players after 54 holes of stroke play proceeding to six-hole match play.
“I’m last guy in top 24. I think I’m last guy to arrive this week as well,” a smiling Aphibarnrat said at the victory presentation after securing his fourth European Tour victory.
He did not arrive in Perth until tournament eve, after only entering the tournament last Sunday.
“I love to play,” he said. “I try to win every week. I know it’s not possible but I try my best. I don’t think I’m going to sleep (tonight). A lot to celebrate and Thai food of course.”
Aphibarnrat, 28, is showing a liking for match play. His most recent European Tour win also came in the head-to-head format, at the Paul Lawrie Match Play in Scotland in 2015.
On Sunday, he took five extra holes to beat Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato in the second round, and also dodged a bullet to edge Australian Lucas Herbert at the first extra hole of their semi-final.
Texas-based Nitties found tree trouble in the final with a series of wayward drives, before Aphibarnrat struck the killer blow by driving the green at the fourth hole and sinking a five-foot eagle putt.
He delivered the coup de grace at the next hole.
Results in the fourth round of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth, Lake Karrinyup CC, Australia :
Super 6 1st rd:
Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha) Lost to Callan O’Reilly (Aus) 2 & 1
James Nitties (Aus) bt Nick Cullen (Aus) 1 up
Marcus Fraser (Aus) bt Poom Saksansin (Tha) 1 up
Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) bt Zander Lombard (Rsa) 3 & 2
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) bt Ben Eccles (Aus) 1 up
Super 6 2nd rd:
Min Woo Lee (a) (Aus) bt Prom Meesawat (Tha) 2 up
Sam Horsfield (Eng) bt Matthew Millar (Aus) 1 up
Callan O’Reilly (Aus) bt Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 1 up
Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus) Lost to James Nitties (Aus) 1 down
Brad Kennedy (Aus) bt Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 1 up
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) bt Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 1 up
Sean Crocker (USA) bt Andrea Pavan (Ita) 1 up
Marcus Fraser (Aus) Lost to Lucas Herbert (Aus) 1 down
Super 6 Quarter-Finals:
James Nitties (Aus) bt Callan O’Reilly (Aus) 1 up
Min Woo Lee (a) (Aus) Lost to Sam Horsfield (Eng) 3 & 2
Lucas Herbert (Aus) bt Brad Kennedy (Aus) 1 up
Sean Crocker (USA) Lost to Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 1 down
Super 6 Semi-Finals:
James Nitties (Aus) bt Sam Horsfield (Eng) 2 & 1
Lucas Herbert (Aus) Lost to Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 1 down
Super 6 Final: James Nitties (Aus) Lost to Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 2 & 1