PERTH — Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat has outlasted five opponents over 35 holes of match-play golf on the final day to claim victory in the World Super 6 Perth.
The World No. 53 fought back from an early one-hole deficit to beat New South Welshman James Nitties 2&1 in the final.
Aphibarnrat was a late addition to the tournament and was the last man to qualify for Sunday’s field.
He had to do so through an extra four shootout holes also as nine golfers fought for the final eight spots.
Over four days, he played 93 holes, earning every cent of his $283,333 prize money.
He was often forced to come from behind on Sunday and did so again in the final.
Nitties, who also spent a long time on the course on the final day, playing “only” 24 holes, took the lead on the first hole of the final after Aphibarnrat put his second shot into a green-side bunker.
But wayward tee shots from Nitties on the second and third holes allowed Aphibarnrat back into the contest.
He wasted his first chance but not his second.
The Thai then took the lead on the fourth hole, the 302m par-4 14th on the Lake Karrinyup course, with an eagle.
He then clinched victory with a birdie on the fifth hole – the course’s 135m par-3 12th.
It was another wasted opportunity for Nitties.
The 35-year-old pockets $188,887 but missed out on earning his European Tour card for 2018.
He had a similar chance at the Perth International in 2013 but fell to finish in a tie for 12th.
And in 2016 he led the Australian Open after the second round but again didn’t carry his form in to the weekend.
Lucas Herbert won the play-off for third place against Sam Horsfield 3&1. Herbert will leave happy though having taken up affiliate membership with the European PGA last week.
So, his performance in Perth sees him earn a place in the field at the Oman Open starting on Thursday.