Shenzhen, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Kiradech Aphibarnrat made eagle on the penultimate hole of regulation to force a playoff, then birdied the first extra hole on Sunday to defeat Hao-tong Li to win Shenzhen International.
Aphibarnrat closed with an even-par 72 to get into the playoff. Li, who was three groups ahead of Aphibarnrat, carded a 5-under 67 to finish first at 12- under-par 276.
The pair returned to the 18th hole for the playoff and both hit the green at the par-4 with their second shots. After Li 2-putted for par, Aphibarnrat poured in his birdie effort to win for the second time on the European Tour.
"Special thanks to my caddie, he was always pushing me. When we were two behind on the last two holes, and he said you have not lost, we have not signed the scorecard yet. He was completely right and I just got the job done," said Aphibarnrat. "I had a chance to win on the 72nd hole, but the putt in the playoff is the best putt I have ever made in my life."
Tommy Fleetwood carded his third straight 3-under 69 at Genzon Golf Club to finish alone in third at minus-11.
Julien Quesne flew up the leaderboard thanks to a final-round, 7-under 65. He soared into a share of fourth place at 10-under-par 278. Quesne was joined there by David Howell (68), former PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang (69), Marco Crespi (67), second-round leader Peter Uihlein (72), Wen-Yi Huang (68) and Tom Lewis (69).
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson rallied with a 65 of his own to jump into a tie for 29th at 5-under-par 283. Spain's Alvaro Quiros fired the round of the day, a 9-under 63, which helped him climb into a share of 15th at minus-8.
Aphibarnrat got off to a slow start with four straight pars to open his round. He dropped shots at the fifth and seventh to trim his lead over Li to one.
Li had a steady front nine with seven pars to go with birdies at three and nine.
Aphibarnrat pushed his advantage back to three as he birdied the ninth for the fourth consecutive round and followed with another birdie on No. 10.
Li poured in three birdies in a four-hole span from the 11th to jump into the lead at 12-under.
Aphibarnrat tripped to a bogey on the 12th to slip one back at 11-under. Both players bogeyed the 15th, then Li birdied the par-5 17th to move two clear.
Li parred the last, then watched Aphibarnrat finish his round. Aphibarnrat holed an 18-foot eagle effort at the 17th to jump into a tie for the lead, and he parred No. 18 to force the playoff.
"I made a lot of birdies again. But the Thai guy played so well," Li stated. "Congratulations for him."
NOTES: Aphibarnrat collected 386,168 euros for the victory ... His other tour win was at the 2013 Malaysian Open and he joins Thongchai Jaidee as the only two Thailand natives with more than one European Tour win ... Alexander Levy will defend his title next week at the Volvo China Open.