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Mar 12 2023

BLACK MOUNTAIN GOLF CLUB, Thailand – Wade Ormsby played all eight events of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series in 2022 and hopes to gain a regular spot in the LIV Golf League in 2024. He took a big step toward that goal on Sunday.

The 42-year-old Australian defeated Chonlatit Chuenboonngam on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the International Series Thailand on Sunday after a compelling finish at Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin. Ormsby holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th while the Thai native missed his birdie attempt from 8 feet.

Ormsby had trailed Chonlatit, the clubhouse leader on 20 under, by one shot with three to play but made a birdie on 16 and had a chance to win on the last but missed his birdie attempt to set up extra time. He closed with a 7-under 65 while little-known Chonlatit, a graduate from the Asian Development Tour (ADT) last year and playing the tournament of his life, shot a 64.

It’s the fourth Asian Tour victory of Ormsby’s career and the first since his win in the Hong Kong Open in 2020.

The US $2 million event was wide open on the final day with multiple players in the mix before Ormsby and Chonlatit edged ahead. Korean Yeongsu Kim (66) and Micah Lauren Shin (67) from the United States tied for third one shot back while Australian Kevin Yuan (67) took fifth.

“I can’t believe I am here,” said Ormsby, who was coming off a missed cut at the NZ Open. “I had a tough week down in New Zealand last week. I was so annoyed with myself as I knew I was playing well. I worked so hard with my coach Grant Field. I am so stoked.”

With the win, Ormsby moves into second place in the International Series Order of Merit behind American Andy Ogletree, who tied for 48th this week.

The Order of Merit leader at the end of the 2023 season secures a spot in next year’s LIV Golf League. The 10 International Series events on the Asian Tour’s calendar are supported by LIV Golf as a pathway to playing privileges. The Thailand event was the third of the year.

Ormsby played for the all-Australian Punch GC during LIV Golf’s inaugural season and was the captain prior to Cameron Smith’s arrival. The team has been rebranded as Ripper GC this season.

Ormsby did not finish inside the top 24 in the season-long points race to secure LIV Golf League playing privileges in 2023 but hopes to earn his way back through the International Series.

“The Asian Tour and International Series are high up on my priority list,” Ormsby said. “I’d love to get back on LIV. I just have to try and manage it all. I just so happy I have won an International Series event, especially here at Black Mountain, I love the place.” 

Ormsby started the day two behind the leaders: Siddikur Rahman from Bangladesh, India’s Chikkarangappa S, Zach Murray from Australia and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond.

However, while all four leaders quickly fell away Ormsby raced up the leaderboard with birdies on two, four, five, six and nine to go out in 5-under 31. He dropped his only shot of the day on 11 but bounced with birdies on 12, 13 and 16.

He had a chance to win in regulation but missed a 15-footer for birdie on the last after splashing out from the bunker.

“I hit a good putt, but it didn’t turn right, the grain was hard off the left. It didn’t go in, all you can do is try and hit a good putt. So, I went to the range to get ready. I got a little bit unlucky on the playoff hole to find the bunker, but I holed the 12 footer when it mattered,” he said..

Chonlatit also missed a makeable birdie putt on the final hole, from 6 feet but was still overjoyed with far and away the most successful tournament of his six-year professional career.

“I did my best, and I’m super happy with the result and my performance today and this week,” said the 24-year-old. “My first priority was to keep my card on the Asian Tour, but this week I’m very happy with my performance so I now would like to win one. I'm sure I can, and I will try.”

He finished second on the ADT Order of Merit last year – the top-10 earned Asian Tour cards for this season – after winning the Gunung Geulis Invitational while finishing second three times, and third twice.

Like Ormsby he gradually moved in front thanks to a 5-under front nine, with only one bogey, before a brave back nine saw him birdie 12, 13 and 17 to set a mark for the field to chase.

The Asian Tour heads to the subcontinent next for The DGC Open presented by Mastercard. The US $750,000 tournament is being played at Delhi Golf Club from March 16-19.