Aphibarnrat wins Paul Lawrie Match Play

Kiradech Aphibarnrat edged Robert Karlsson in a dramatic final at the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play on Sunday.

The Thai rolled in a birdie putt on the final hole to secure his third European title at the inaugural match play event at Murcar Links Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Aphibarnrat reached the final after he defeated local favourite Marc Warren 3&2, while Karlsson progressed to the tournament finale following his 1up win over David Howell. 

It would be Aphibarnrat that started the stronger of the two in the final, running out to a three-hole lead over the Swede by the time they walked off the sixth green.

Karlsson grabbed two back on the eighth and ninth, but Aphibarnrat would birdie the 11th and 14th holes to regain his advantage, seemingly insurmountable one with just four holes to play.

But Karlsson would win the next three holes, including a stunning birdie on the 17th, to set the duo up for a final showdown on the 18th.

The nerves got the better of Karlsson on the tee-box though as he pushed his drive far right. However, a brilliant recovery shot came to rest just ten feet from the hole.

Aphibarnrat was not to be outdone and floated his iron shot beautifully, leaving him a four-foot birdie chance. After Karlsson misread his attempt, Aphibarnrat drained the putt for the title.

"My body was getting so tired, so my swing wasn't at 100 per cent, but I just tried to hit my shots," the 26-year-old told europentour.com.

"Robert is such a good player – he's played Ryder Cups, so I knew he could comeback. My caddie just told me to stick to my game and not worry about what he does.

"John Daly was my hero – we have very similar swings. But especially this week my driver helped me a lot. In the first four days I was hitting it miles and down the fairways. A couple of holes today I missed to the right. But if you want me to go and play another nine, I will go and hit driver every hole."

In the 3rd/4th play-off, England’s Howell edged Warren by one hole to earn third place.

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