Thailand Defeats England To Win Euro Tour's GolfSixes Event

Mark down another first for the European Tour. It’s not every day – or indeed any day – that closest to the pin decides a golf tournament. That’s how Thailand won the $1.2 million GolfSixes Cascais event.

The Thai team of Thongchai Jaidee and Phachara Khongwatmai defeated English pair Tom Lewis and Paul Waring to follow Denmark and Ireland as winners of the unique six-hole, knockout event. After finishing all-square on 1-1, the teams returned to the 153-yard, par-3 sixth hole on the Oitavos Dunes course in Cascais, Portugal.

This wasn’t anything like standing on the 10th tee at Augusta National waiting to go head to head for the green jacket. The final tee was located in a bar and lounge area, overlooking a swimming pool. In fact, contestants hit tee shots over the pool.

Closest to the pin was used to settle the match after both teams halved the first extra hole. Thailand took the title when Khongwatmai hit his tee shot to within four feet of the flag. Waring couldn’t match the 20-year-old’s effort.

Thailand Defeats England To Win Euro Tour's GolfSixes Event

It is Jaidee’s ninth European Tour victory and Khongwatmai’s first.

“First of all, I’m lucky today,” Jaidee said. “We played a great round, played well today, but I think the team work very important. I’m very happy to win again.

“I never win two, three years, but now good time to win and thank you my partner, Phachara. And thank you, the caddies, as well, they worked very hard.”

Khongwatmai said: “It was really fun to play with Thongchai for Thailand. He taught me about the format of the game, and I’m really happy to have Thongchai (as partner).”

The GolfSixes may be one of the European Tour’s innovative events, but that didn’t make losing any less frustrating for the English duo.

“I’m gutted, I’m genuinely gutted,” Lewis said. “We came a long way and we played so many good matches, but we slipped up in the beginning a couple of times. That handed them a little bit of confidence. We’ve had fun but it’s going to be a little bit of a journey home.”

Waring was looking for his second European Tour win following his breakthrough victory in last year’s Nordea Masters. “I was quite comfortable taking the last shot, and I felt like it was a good number for me as well,” he said. “With the wind being out of the left, it was turning a little too much. But that’s golf.

“I’ve had a great week. I’ve really enjoyed myself and I’d love to play again next year. It’s such a stressful season; we take everything so seriously, so it’s nice to come out and have a bit of fun.”

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