SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Thaworn Wiratchant made it a day to remember as he collected a trio of Asian Tour prizes after the experienced Thai became the oldest winner of their Order of Merit title on Sunday.
Thaworn, who turns 46 later this month, was named the Players’ Player-of-the-Year at the Asian Tour awards on Sunday night and also won a special achievement prize after beating Australian Marcus Fraser to the money list hours earlier.
The Thai won the Queen’s Cup on home soil, Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters and Hero Indian Open to end his 25-event season on $738,046 with Fraser earning $672,744 despite not winning any of the 10 events he played in
“I‘m really happy. I‘m an old man already and the players still picked me as their Players’ Player-of-the-Year,” Thaworn told the Asian Tour after collecting the awards following his fifth-place finish at the Iskandar Johor Open.
”It was also nice to win the special achievement award which means a lot to me.
“I want to thank the Asian Tour, the officials and all the players for their support,” added Thaworn, who also won the Order of Merit title in 2005 and holds the record for the most victories on the Asian Tour with 15.
The Thai also earned a five-year exemption on the Asian Tour and a place in the 2013 British Open and World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship for winning the money list.
Thaworn held a $25,261 advantage over Fraser heading into the final event in Malaysia but the Australian was two shots ahead going into the last round of the weather-shortened $2 million tournament on Sunday.
However, the 45-year-old Thai fired eight birdies in a seven-under 65 to overhaul Fraser (72) and win the money title and also the prize for most birdies this season with 346 at the awards later.
Despite only 54 holes being played, the Iskandar Johor Open, won by Spain’s Sergio Garcia, was named tournament of the year with Fraser claiming the lowest stroke average and lowest putting average prizes.
Reporting by Patrick Johnston; Editing by John O'Brien