- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

GURGAON, INDIA (AP) - Chapchai Nirat of Thailand shot a final-round 67 and finished 32-under par to win the Asian Tour’s SAIL Open on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Nirat birdied his final hole on the par-72 Classic Golf Resort course.

The PGA Tour mark is 31 under set by South Africa’s Ernie Els at Kapalua, Hawaii, in 2003 while winning the Mercedes Benz Championships.

Nirat also improved on the Asian Tour’s previous best of 29 under, also set by Els, at the 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia.

Nirat won the title by 11 strokes over Richard Moir of Australia and Gaganjit Bhullar of India, who each finished at 267.

This was Nirat’s third career title. He won China’s TCL Classic and the Vietnam Open in 2007.

“I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t putt that well in the final round, but winning the title is a happy occasion,” Nirat said. “I’m hoping to take this momentum forward and seek a few more title victories this season.

“I am now playing the best golf of my life, and my plan is going to the U.S. PGA Tour Q-School for the next season,” he said.

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