Thongchai finishes top-10 in Ireland

June 1: Thai star Thongchai Jaidee produced a masterful top-10 finish at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, closing with a one-under-par 70 at Royal County Down Golf Club on Sunday.

The three-time Asian Tour number one battled tough conditions to shoot three birdies against two bogeys as he emerged as one of only four golfers who broke par in the final round of the European Tour event.

It was Thongchai’s second consecutive top-10 after finishing joint runner-up at the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, England in the previous week, and sets him up perfectly for his title defence at this week’s Nordea Masters in Sweden.

Thongchai, who shot earlier rounds of 72, 74 and 70, also moved up to sixth place on the latest European Tour rankings.

Asian Tour member Jbe Kruger of South Africa finished a creditable equal 18th with rounds of 73, 73, 71 and 71 for a 288 total while Sweden Rikard Karlberg fired a closing 69 to finish joint 21st on 289. Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen won the event after a three-way play-off.

At the Mizuno Open in Japan, which was also the qualifying event for the Open Championship, Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng finished sixth in the event on 279.  Taichi Teshima of Japan won the tournament with his winning score of 273.

China’s Liang Wen-chong, a former Asian Tour number one, finished tied ninth on 281.