Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat was thrilled to claim his first victory on European soil after defeating Sweden’s Robert Karlsson in the final of the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie match play at Murcar Links yesterday.
The 26-year-old, who has now won three times on the European Tour after previous successes at the Shenzhen International in April and the Malaysian Open in 2013, earned £120,722 for his one-hole victory at Murcar Links.
Aphibarnrat said: “It was my next step to win in Europe, so I am happy and proud that I have shown I can win outside of Asia.
“I have to thank Paul Lawrie and the sponsors for putting on such a nice event.
“After playing 36 holes on Saturday and 36 on Sunday I was getting tired towards the end.
“I can’t remember when I have played that much golf over the last 10 years.
“Robert Karlsson is such a good player and he has played in the Ryder Cup, so I knew a world-class player like him was always capable of coming back.
“The good thing was I knew that even if I made a 10 at the last hole I would still finish no worse than second, but I was happy and proud to win.”
Tournament host Lawrie, who was knocked out in the second round by fellow Scot Chris Doak, was pleased with how the event went.
He said: “It has been magnificent from start to finish and I don’t think you could have asked for any more.
“It is our first year doing it and I think everyone has done a wonderful job.
“It has gone better than I would have hoped. I would have liked to have gone a bit further as I was here as a golfer as much as a host, but that’s what can happen in match play.
“Apart from that, everything else has exceeded our expectations.”
Englishman David Howell finished third after beating Scotland’s Marc Warren by one hole in the play-off.