Australian Terry Pilkadaris was celebrating
last night after lifting the inaugural Crowne Plaza Open Shanghai 2004
trophy. Pilkadaris grabbed his first Asian Tour win after edging out
Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit with an 8-under-par total of 280 in a gripping
finale to claim the US$32,300 first prize.“I’m very pleased,” said a beaming Pilkadaris. “It’s a great relief to win my
first Asian title, having recently finished second at the Taiwan Open.”
Pilkadaris, who got married three weeks ago, said he felt relaxed throughout
the four days. “I have been playing well recently and I was confident coming
into this tournament. It’s all coming together for me now,” he said.
During a tense final day at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club,
Pilkadaris’ overnight lead was quickly pegged back by fellow Australian
playing partner, Marcus Both. However, Pilkadaris moved up a gear to
establish a two-shot lead after nine holes. Below the leader, the scoreboard
changed continuously as several players stepped up their bids for the title.
At the halfway stage, Gary Rusnak (USA) and Boonchu Ruangkit (Thailand)
shared joint-third place, three shots behind leader Pilkadaris.
Midway through the final nine holes, Both had once again pulled level with
Pilkadaris’ to share the championship lead and set up a gripping finale.
Pilkadaris re-established his lead on the 15th hole and then extended it to
two shots on the 17th. Thailand’s Boonchu birdied the final hole to put
pressure on Pilkadaris, but he held on to take the title by one shot.
“Crowne Plaza is delighted to have sponsored this tournament,” said Bruce
McKenzie, Vice President of Operations - China, Intercontinental Hotels
Group. “We saw some great golf, the course record was broken and it
enabled Chinese golfers to participate in a high-level competition. The
Crowne Plaza brand is about bringing business people together, and this
tournament has certainly achieved that’, he added.
The closely-fought finish capped an exciting four days of championship golf.
Thursday’s glorious autumn weather resulted in some spectacular scoring;
Thailand’s Somkiat Srisa-Nga smashed the course record by two shots and
Japan’s Eiji Mizoghuchi and Australia’s Anthony Summers equalled the old
course record of 66. Meanwhile, Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and India’s
Digvijay Singh both scored holes-in-one. The tournament also saw an
encouraging performance by Chinese junior, Hu Mu - the only amateur
player out of the 72 who made the two-round cut.
The Crowne Plaza Open Shanghai 2004 featured 132 of the leading players
from the Asian Tour and China PGA League, who battled for a share of
theUS$200,000 prize money.