Lee Westwood goes the distance in Thailand



BANGKOK — Lee Westwood completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Thailand Golf Championship, shooting 3-under 69 in windy conditions Sunday to beat Masters Tournament champion Charl Schwartzel by seven strokes.

The third-ranked English star finished at 22-under 266 at Amata Spring Country Club. He opened with rounds of 60 and 64 and shot 73 on Saturday in the Asian Tour event.

“It means a lot, any win does,” Westwood said. “It’s special this week because of the difficulty of the golf course, who I was up against in the weekend.

“Charl is the Masters champion and he has had a great year. The fact that I led wire to wire – 60 in the first round and 64 in the second round, 20-under after two rounds – it’s yours to lose really with an 11-shot lead. There was pressured involved.”

Schwartzel closed with 72.

“It was a tough day. The wind probably blew the hardest today compared to the last three rounds,” the South African star said. “I played great. If it wasn’t for Lee, I would have probably won the tournament.”

American Michael Thompson was another stroke back after 70.


PGA TOUR AUSTRALASIA: In Melbourne, Australia, England’s Ian Poulter won the Australian Masters, spoiling Geoff Ogilvy’s bid for a victory on his boyhood course.

Poulter, two strokes behind Ogilvy entering the round, closed with 4-under 67 in windy conditions to finish at 15-under 269 at Victoria Golf Club.

“To come down here the week before Christmas and to win this tournament is very special,” Poulter said. “I had a message from (former champion) Justin Rose, who said, ‘Put a nice gold jacket in your wardrobe like I have,’ and it’s nice to do that.”

Marcus Fraser had 64 to finish second, three strokes back. Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion who matched the course record with 63 on Saturday, shot 73 to end up third at 11-under.

Poulter erased Ogilvy’s lead with a 15-foot eagle putt on the short par-4 first hole.

The Englishman birdied the seventh to take the outright lead and added another on the ninth – after nearly making another eagle – to make the turn with a two-shot advantage.

Top-ranked Luke Donald had 72 to tie for 12th at 4-under.

Greg Chalmers failed in his bid to become the second player to complete the Australian Triple Crown, shooting 74 to join Donald in the group at 4-under. Robert Allenby is the only player to sweep the Australian Open, Australian PGA and Australian Masters.


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