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Kiradech in Euro Tour win over Karlsson

By Phil Casey

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat held his nerve to win his second European Tour title of the year yesterday, beating Robert Karlsson in a hard-fought final of the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay.

Aphibarnrat, who ended hopes of a home victory by knocking out Marc Warren in the semi-finals, was three up with four holes to play but lost the 15th, 16th and 17th and saw Karlsson fire his second shot to the 18th to 10 feet.

The 25-year-old produced an even better approach from heavy rough and after Karlsson dragged his birdie attempt wide, holed from four feet for victory and the first prize of £122,000.

Aphibarnrat began the final with three birdies in the first four holes and although an early three-hole lead was back to one at the turn, he drove the green on the short 11th to set up a birdie and won the 14th when Karlsson three-putted from long range.

Karlsson was handed a lifeline when Aphibarnrat found water with his approach to the 15th green and did not even attempt to take a penalty drop and hole his fourth shot.

A par was enough for Karlsson to win the 16th and, when the 45-year-old holed from 10 feet for birdie on the 17th, the match was back to all square heading down the 18th.

Meanwhile South Korea's Inbee Park hailed the greatest day of her life after claiming a seventh major title with a brilliant final round in the Ricoh Women's British Open at Turnberry.

Park began the day three shots off the lead but carded an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys for a closing 65 to finish 12 under par, three shots ahead of compatriot Jin-Young Ko.

"This is the greatest day of my life yet for sure," said 27-year-old Park, who has now won six of the 14 majors she has contested since 2013.

Belfast Telegraph

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