Thailand's Pariya holds nerve to win second Asian title

Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:14pm IST

REUTERS - Thailand's Pariya Junhasavasdikul survived a few nervous moments in the closing stages but held on to secure a second Asian Tour title with a one-stroke victory at the Selangor Masters in Malaysia on Sunday.

Pariya offset five birdies with four bogeys in his one-under-par 70 final round to finish on nine-under 275 for the tournament, held at the challenging Seri Selangor Golf Club.

India's Anirban Lahiri posted a closing three-under-par 68 to finish second while South Korea's Baek Seuk-hyun, who was leading at the 15th hole, shared third with Thailand's Namchok Tantipokhakul after a late collapse.

Pariya's maiden Asian Tour title came at the Taiwan Masters in 2010 and the 29-year-old Thai said the closing stretch of holes had tested his composure to the limit.

"I'm still shaking right now. I can't describe the feeling. Walking down the last three holes, there was tremendous pressure," Pariya told reporters.

As Lahiri waited in the clubhouse a shot behind him, the Thai found a moment of calm as he stood over his final putt.

"I didn't think about it too much. It was a downhill putt and all I had to do was to put a good stroke in. Luckily, I didn't feel any pressure then. I kept to the routine and got it over with," Pariya said after completing a wire-to-wire victory.

"It is difficult to convey exactly how much pressure you feel to lead by one shot from the first round to the last. Last night, I couldn't sleep. I started thinking what would happen if I won. And then it dawned on me that I hadn't won yet.

"I reminded myself that I still had to play 18 holes and it took the pressure off a bit."

Baek, who was in the final group with Pariya, slipped out of contention with a double bogey on the 16th and another dropped shot on the next.

"I got tired and felt under pressure from the 15th. I couldn't hit the ball properly," the Thailand-based Korean said.

Defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand closed with his best round of the week, a one-under-par 70, but could only finish in a tie for 46th on eight-over for the tournament. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O'Brien)

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