Kiradech takes maiden title in Malaysia

Three straight bogeys end Harrington’s chances in Kuala Lumpur

Three straight bogeys on his back nine ended Pádraig Harrington’s chances at the Malaysian Open as Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat overcame a two-hour storm delay, a thyroid problem and some jittery nerves to win the weather-truncated event by a stroke for his first European Tour title on Sunday.

Harrington was just one shot behind Kiradech at the turn after carding three birdies and an eagle three in the space of five holes, but three fives from 12th hole saw him finish with a two-under-par 70 in his third and final round to end the tournament on nine under and a share of sixth place.

Fellow Dubliner Peter Lawrie also failed to fire in his final round, a one-under 71 leaving him a shot behind Harrington on eight under.

It meant that the big-hitting Kiradech only needed to shoot a 70 for a 54-hole total of 13 under, a shot ahead of Italy's Edoardo Molinari at the co-sanctioned Asian Tour event.


The 23-year-old topped the leaderboard on all four days at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club and could afford to bogey the par-five 18th and still win the tournament despite his anxiety after another delay in play on Sunday.

"During the suspension, I couldn't eat anything. I was so excited. When I walked out, everything was shaking, even my voice," said the burly Kiradech, whose thyroid problem affected his stamina and prevented him from giving it his all on some drives.

"My caddie told me to just concentrate, 'just two more holes'. I'm lucky that I played only 54 holes. Otherwise, I am so tired due to the weather and the golf course.

"This means a lot to me. I have to thank my family... my mum and my dad for all their support."

Denmark's Anders Hansen finished third after a stellar six-under-par 66, the joint best round of the day, with South African Charl Schwartzel and France's Victor Dubuisson, a shot further back in fourth.

Molinari, who has been bothered by a troublesome wrist issue which required surgery early last year, was pleased to card a bogey-free round of five-under 67 but was left thinking of missed opportunities.

"It's mixed emotions because I'm very happy to have a good week for the first time in a long time," he said. "The swing changes are starting to pay off which is surprising because I thought it would take a lot longer.

"I'm disappointed because I had a lot of chances on the back nine. The 18th is only the second fairway I missed all day which is very disappointing.

"I felt if I birdied the last I might have won outright because it puts a lot of pressure on the guy coming up behind."