Japan win earns Thai Prayad ticket to British Open

June 23rd, 2008 - 11:57 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, June 23 (IANS) Golfer Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand booked his place for the British Open with a one stroke triumph at the Mizuno Open in Japan. The in-form Thai, who was winning his second straight title in Japan, will now have a chance to make up for the miss at the US Masters. Prayad had competed in the US Masters in April but he was forced to withdraw after nine holes in the second round due to a back injury.

Prayad sealed his win in Japan thanks to a final birdie putt on the 18th hole for a superb six-under-par 65 at the Yomiuri Country Club Sunday. Prayad remained on target firing a 69, 66, 69 and a 65 in the final round for a winning total of 15-under-par 269. He enjoyed a narrow one stroke win over local talent Azuma Yano who posted a similar score on the final day.

Yano, leader after each of the first two rounds, matched Prayad with a 65 but came up short in his bid for his second career win on the tour and first in three years.

Yoshinobu Tsukada (67), Michio Matsumura (68) and defending champion and third-round leader Lee Dong Hwan of South Korea (69) finished tied for third on 271.

Prayad, based in Hua Hin, will now relish his trip to Royal Birkdale with renewed strength eager to compete in his second Major of the year. It will also be the Thai’s second appearance at the British Open since his maiden outing in 1999.

Prayad will join Malaysia’s Danny Chia, Angelo Que of the Philippines, Adam Blyth of Australia and Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing who all earned their place at the British Open by making the cut at the qualifiers in March.

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