Dodt rallies to win Thailand Classic

Hua Hin, Thailand ( - Andrew Dodt closed with a bogey-free, 5-under 67 on Sunday to win the inaugural Thailand Classic.

Dodt, who regained his tour card at Q School last fall, finished his second European Tour title at 16-under-par 272. After a first-round 71, he ended the tournament with three straight 67s.

"I'm speechless. It's just come out of nowhere. I played really well yesterday and today, but I just didn't think I'd come out on top. I knew I was playing well, but to come out and win is just a dream come true," Dodt stated.

"To be honest, losing my card two years ago was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I went home last year, spent 12 months at home, played the Asian Tour again, found myself again, found my game and to be in the winner's circle again, it's unbelievable."

Scott Hend led entering the final round, but only managed an even-par 72. He shared second place at minus-15 with Thongchai Jaidee, who carded a 71 in the final round.

Richard T. Lee matched the low round of the day with his 6-under 66. Lee was joined in fourth place at 14-under 274 by Kiradech Aphibarnrat (70) and Jason Knutzon (67).

Second-round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez parred the final nine holes at Black Mountain Golf Club for a 1-over 73. He finished at minus-13 and ended alongside Carlos Pigem (66), Johan Carlsson (69) and Wade Ormsby (70).

Dodt, who was in the penultimate group, flew out of the gate with three straight birdies from the first. That burst moved him to 14-under, where he was two behind Hend.

While Dodt ran off eight consecutive pars from the fourth, Hend was alone in the lead that entire time.

Hend birdied the second, but was joined atop the leaderboard by Jimenez, who birdied one and two. Jimenez bogeyed the third to fall one back. Hend pushed his lead to two strokes with a birdie on the fourth. He tripped to a bogey at the seventh, but was still alone in the lead.

Around the turn, Hend made four straight pars to start his inward nine. Jaidee birdied the 12th to gain a share of the lead, but he followed with a double- bogey on the par-5 13th.

Dodt ended his run of pars with a birdie on the 12th. Hend dropped his second shot of the round at the par-3 14th and that created a three-way tie for the lead at 15-under with Dodt and Jaidee, who birdied the 14th.

After a pair of pars, Dodt moved to 16-under with a birdie on the 15th. Jaidee also birdied that hole to grab a share of the lead. Dodt closed with three straight pars to earn the win.

Jaidee faltered to a 3-putt bogey on the 16th and followed with a pair of pars. He reached the green at the par-5 18th in two, but left his eagle try eight feet short and missed the birdie try that would have forced a playoff.

Hend traded a bogey at 17 for a birdie at the last to end alongside Jaidee in second place.

"I pressed for the win on 17 and got a bit aggressive with my bunker shot, and I finished one shot behind. I came here to try to win," said Hend. "I thought Dodt was going to make birdie on 18 and I was only 15-under, so I thought I had to play an aggressive bunker shot. Unfortunately, I caught it a little too clean and bogeyed the hole. But all in all, it was a good solid week and there are a lot of positives to take out of it."

NOTES: Dodt earned 289,862 euros for the victory ... Dodt's other tour win was at the 2010 Avantha Masters ... Anthony Wall had a hole-in-one on the par-3 14th ... The European Tour heads to New Delhi next week for the Hero Indian Open, which Siddikur Rahman won last year when the event was sanctioned by the Asian Tour.