Westwood triumphs in Thailand

England’s Westwood reeled off seven birdies in 10 holes then tapped in for par at the last to complete a superb five-under-par round of 67 for an eight-under total of 280 at??Amata Spring Country Club.

Fraser, playing on a sponsors’ invite after missing most of the year because of a wrist problem, could have forced a play-off with a par of his own at the last but the Australian made a bogey to drop back to seven under.

Westwood’s Ryder Cup-winning team-mate Kaymer, who is making his first appearance in Thailand, also came unstuck right near the end, making his only bogey of the day on the penultimate hole, to finish tied with Fraser, one behind Westwood.

The victory helped Westwood land his 41st career win and a cheque of $1m.

“This is my last event of the year and it’s nice to finish with a win and go into Christmas and start the New Year with confidence and a bit of momentum,” Westwood said.

“I didn’t get off to the best of starts and gave myself an awful lot to do. I knew I had to refocus and gave myself a talking to.??I found my swing at the sixth and after that I really got going with four straight birdies.”

The Ryder Cup star said the Amata Spring course was a real challenge.

“It is by far the hardest golf course I’ve played on in Asia. The greens were firm and the rough was really thick.”

Demanding final stretch

Fraser had started the day one ahead of India’s Anirban Lahiri (73) and two clear of the former world No 1s as he went in search of his first Tour title in over four years.

Five birdies in his opening 11 holes stretched that lead to three as Lahiri fell away, but Westwood and Kaymer closed the gap with birdies after the Australian tossed in a bogey at the 12th.

Westwood made four birdies in a row from the sixth, then added three more on the back nine, and held his nerve with three closing pars over the demanding final stretch as his rivals fell away.

Fraser remained upbeat, despite his obvious disappointment at letting the lead slip at the end. His runner-up spot meant he secured one of the four places this event was offering for The Open next July at St Andrews.

“I’m really excited with getting the place at St Andrews,” Fraser said. “That was one of the reasons I came to this event. The Open is the best tournament in the world.”

Southport’s Tommy Fleetwood was two shots further back in fourth after carding??a final-round 70, while defending champion Spain’s??Sergio Garcia finished ninth on two under after his score of 69 saw??him move up a spot.

Lahiri eventually finished in joint-sixth place, meaning he just missed out on the top-four spot which would have seen him pip David Lipsky to the Asian Tour Order of Merit title.