Thai teenager Denwit completes remarkable hat-trick at Saudi Open

The 19-year-old makes history becoming the first player to win the final events of the year on both the Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour

By KT Golf

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Champion of the Riyadh Open in Saudi Arabia on the Asian Tour, Denwit on the Asian Tour. - Supplied photo
Champion of the Riyadh Open in Saudi Arabia on the Asian Tour, Denwit on the Asian Tour. - Supplied photo

Published: Mon 18 Dec 2023, 1:18 AM

Denwit Boriboonsub completed a rare hat-trick of titles on Sunday when he recorded a brilliant three-shot win in the $1million Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund today at Riyadh Golf Club.

The 19 year-old Thai, who won the Thailand Open on the All Thailand Golf Tour last week and the Aramco Invitational on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) the week before, shot a final round seven under par 64 for a four round aggregate of 18 under 266.

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson raced through with a 65 to secure second place while Travis Smyth from Australia was third after a 67 – in an event that brought to a conclusion the Asian Tour’s 23 event, $35 million season.

Phachara Khongwatmai from Thailand, the overnight leader, signed off with a 70 and tied for fourth, five behind the champion, with his nation’s brilliant young amateur Ratchanon “TK” Chantananuwant, in with a 66, and Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma, who closed with a 67.

Denwit also has the distinction of becoming the first player to win the final events of the year on both the Asian Tour and ADT, as the Aramco Invitational was also the season-ender.

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson raced through with a 65 to secure second place.  - USA TODAY Sports
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson raced through with a 65 to secure second place. - USA TODAY Sports

He started one back from Phachara today and dominated the final day. Three birdies in-a-row from the first and again from 11 were the mark of a player on top of his game. He made eight birdies in total and dropped just one shot.

At the turn he had a two-shot lead, which was the gap he had playing the last, where he closed with a birdie to put the icing on the cake.

He also made par saving clutch putts from eight feet on 15 and 17 to fend off his pursuers,” said the Thai youngster, whose English name is David.

He also won $180,000, leaping into 21st place on the final Asian Tour Order of Merit from 133rd

‘”t is an unbelievable feeling because it is incredible winning three weeks in a row. It is like magic,” he said.

Australia 's Travis Smyth lining up a shot. -- AFP
Australia 's Travis Smyth lining up a shot. -- AFP

“I was really confident before coming to this week because I just know my game. I hit my drives good, my irons and putting were also good, so my goal this week was to win. Fortunately, I made it.”

This is only Denwit’s 15th start on the Asian Tour, and he mirrors the performance of American Berry Henson back in 2011 by winning on the Asian Tour a fortnight after claiming an ADT event.

Three weeks ago, on the eve of the Aramco Invitational, he was 30th on the ADT Merit list and facing an uncertain future before a lifechanging month of golf.

He said, “[At Aramco] I told my caddie that there is nothing to lose now. If we didn’t make this tournament we had to go to Q School but I just tried to play my best and hopefully just make top three but luckily I won it.”

The 2016 Open champion Stenson, playing in the third from last group out, made a valiant late run making four consecutive birdies from the 12th and another on 17 but he ran out of holes.

He said: “It’s been a good week here in Riyadh. It’s been my first trip to the capital and it’s been nice to see something else than Jeddah as well in that sense, where we played a lot of golf both the Saudi International and the LIV tournaments.

“So nice visit, a lot of friendly people. I came in with two months off, so it was a good opportunity for me to kind of see where we’re at and what needs to be worked more on when we start preparing for next year in the middle of January,” Stenson added.

Dubai Golden Visa Awardee Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) shot a final round 65 to finish in 10th place.

Gaganjeet told Khaleej Times, ‘I did not drop a shot in my last 54 holes – which is very special. In the final round, I hit 13 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation

“This is the least tournament on the 2023 Asian Tour – I finished overall in third place in the Order of Merit – moving up one spot thanks to this week’s performance,” said Bhullar.

“My next tournament golf is next week on the PGIT Tata Steel Tour Championship in Jamshedpur. Overall another good week in Riyadh.”

Joshua Grenville-Wood (UAE), 25 years-old, shot rounds of 72, 70, 65 and 67 to finish on 10 under par in tied 12th.

Dubai resident Joel Stalter (Fr) shot a final round 69, to be three under for 72 holes in tied 48th

Final Results

(7,246 Yards, Par 71).

D. Boriboonsub (Thai) 68. 66. 68. 64. 266.

H. Stenson (Swe) 70, 67. 67. 65. 269.

T. Smyth (Aus) 71. 68. 64. 67. 270.


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