Volvo Masters: Prayad takes title on home turf

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng won the Volvo Masters of Asia after third round leader Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines slumped.

Updated: December 10, 2007 14:58 IST
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Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng birdied the 18th hole for a 3-under 69 Sunday to win the Volvo Masters of Asia after third round leader Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines slumped to a final round of 75.

Prayad, 41, surged to the top of the leaderboard with a four-round total of 13-under 275 following Pagunsan's 3-over final round, including a bogey on the 18th at the 6,476 meter (7,082-yard yard) Thai Country Club.

Pagunsan still managed to finish just a stroke behind at 276 to share second place with Chris Rodgers of England, whose 4-under 68 on Sunday moved him up from fifth place. Rodgers also bogeyed the final hole.

Mark Brown of New Zealand, with an even par 72, and Simon Yates of Scotland with 1-over 73 ended joint fourth on 278.

Prayad, who with Brown was five shots behind Pagunsan going into the final round, takes home the top prize of US$135,000 (euro92,121).

Pagunsan and Rogers won US$69,000 (euro47,084) apiece, and Brown and Yates each got purses of US$34,875 (euro23,798).

Liang Wen-chong, who shot par to end joint 28th at 289, meanwhile, became the first player from China to win the Order of Merit title.

Liang became the Asian Tour's top money winner this year with earnings of US$532,590 (euro363,429) from 19 events, including the trophy at the Clariden Leu Singapore Masters in March.

The Merit title earned Liang a spot in next year's British Open, where he will become the first Chinese to play in the world's oldest major.

He also will get to play in the WGC-CA Championship in the United States, along with runner-up Chapchai Nirat of Thailand and third-placed Anton Haig of South Africa, who finished third in the money stakes.

Prayad had to struggle to gain his victory, which he dedicated to Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej and veteran Thai golfer Supphaphorn Maphungphong, who died two weeks ago.

He hit a drive into the water on the 10th hole, but salvaged a par from six feet. On the par-five 17th, he drove his second shot into water again, but recovered for par with a similar length putt.

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