Ghei, Lahiri end tied 49th in Brunei Open golf

August 24th, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Aug 24 (IANS) It was a disappointing finish for the Indian trio led by seasoned golfer Gaurav Ghei on the last day of the $300,000 Brunei Open here Sunday.Ghei, eighth after the second day had slipped to 32nd on third and on the final day he slipped further with a four-over 75 that saw him finish at even par 284 and in tied 49th place.

Also in the 49th place was Anirban Lahiri, who also shot a 75. Rahil Gangjee improved to a one-under 70 after his five-over 76 on third day, but failed to make any big movement as he ended 58th.

Meanwhile, Australian rookie Rick Kulacz holed a stunning bunker shot for birdie to defeat Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wen-teh in a play-off to win the title.

Kulacz, the 2001 world junior champion, produced one of the shots of the season to capture his maiden Asian Tour title at Empire Hotel and Country Club after tying Lu on 13-under-par 271.

The 23-year-old, who held the overnight lead, overcame an early double bogey on his first hole en route to a one-under-par 70 in the final round but was caught by Lu, who closed out with a 67.

Thailand’s Somkiat Srisanga and American Anthony Kang, who both held the lead during an enthralling back nine duel, shared third place after a 68 and 67 respectively to finish one behind the winner.

In the first hole of a sudden-death shoot-out, Kulacz and Lu found the greenside bunker at the par four 18th hole and after Lu had splashed out to five feet, the Perth-based Kulacz produced the unlikeliest of winning shots.

Kulacz missed a 15-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole in regulation play to seal a victory but made up for it with the bunker shot, which landed a few feet from the pin before trickling into the hole.

“I’ve been hitting into bunkers all week and I finally found one that was sitting up perfectly. It was the easiest shot. I just had to splash it out and hope for the best. I’ve never been that excited.

“This win takes the pressure off as I can pick and choose my events. It’s a huge weight off my career as I was well down the Order of Merit,” said Kulacz, who will earn a two-year exemption on the Asian Tour and a start at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November.

Inaugural Brunei Open champion Terry Pilkadaris of Australia, compatriot Andrew Dodt and Thai star Thaworn Wiratchant shared fifth place on 273.

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