Aphibarnrat hangs on to win weather-shortened Malaysian Open
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Sports Network) - Kiradech Aphibarnrat carded a 2- under 70 on Sunday to hang on for a 1-stroke victory at the weather-shortened Malaysian Open.
The tournament was shortened to 54 holes following several weather delays throughout the week, including a nearly 2-hour delay on Sunday.
Aphibarnrat finished at 13-under-par 203 to capture his first career victory on the European Tour.
"This means a lot to me," Aphibarnrat said about the win. "I have to thank my family: my mom and my dad for all their support."
Edoardo Molinari fired a 5-under 67 during his final round at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, but he came up just short at 12-under to take second place.
Anders Hansen (66) occupied third at 11-under-par 205, while former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (71) and Victor Dubuisson (70) shared fourth at minus-10.
Aphibarnrat started the third round with a 1-stroke lead over Schwartzel, and traded a birdie at the first with a bogey at the second on Saturday before play was suspended.
He then reopened his third round on Sunday with a birdie at the third before rolling in a 15-foot eagle putt at the fifth.
The 23-year-old stumbled to a pair of bogeys at the seventh and 12th, and after getting one of those strokes back with a birdie at the 14th, play was suspended again for nearly two hours.
When play resumed, Aphibarnrat grabbed a 2-stroke lead over Molinari with a short birdie putt at the 16th, which proved necessary as he closed with a bogey at the last.
Molinari recorded five birdies during his bogey-free round to fall just short of Aphibarnrat.
"I'm disappointed because I had a lot of chances on the back nine," said Molinari. "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."
NOTES: Aphibarnrat's previous best finish on the European Tour was a tie for third at the 2010 Maybank Malaysian Open ... Aphibarnrat joined Richard Sterne at the Joburg Open and Tiger Woods at the WGC - Cadillac Championship as the only wire-to-wire winners this season ... Aphibarnrat is the first player from Thailand since Thongchai Jaidee at the 2012 ISPS Handa Wales Open to win on The European Tour.
03/24 06:47:34 ET