Thongchai Jaidee (Getty Images)
Thongchai Jaidee won the Handa Wales Open at a wet and windy Celtic Manor to claim his first European Tour win on European soil, all four of his previous victories on his home continent. Thongchai’s last round 72 gave him a tournament total of -6 under par, to win by one shot from Thomas Bjorn, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, Joost Luiten and Richard Sterne, who all finished at -5 under par.
Thongchai was really pleased with his win. albeit with rules officials assistance;
” I want to say thank you to all my family, all the supporters and the sponsors here. Conditions were quite tough for me. I tried to hit everything on the fairway, that’s the main thing, then hit the ball on the green. It was very, very tough for me, not like Thailand!”
Ross Fisher finished at -4 under par and left with far less happy memories this time after being penalised a shot for slow play when one off the lead. Ross fell foul of European Tour rules when he took too long over shots at the 11th and 14th holes, exceeding the allocated 40 seconds on both occasions. By comparison, Joost Luiten was told to speed up, but no penalty stroke awarded. Would be interesting if they used this 40 second rule on the USPGA Tour, the amount of time some of those players take, they could be in danger of losing a few players at each tournament.
So golf is now another one of those sports where the winner is decided by officials, rather than the team or player who actually performs better but just gets a contentious call from officialdom. Are all the officials on the course presented with a stop watch at the start of play everyday ?
Ross commented after the tournament;
” I don’t think it’s justice, but there you go.”