Andre Stolz (Picture by Paul Lakatos/World Sport Group)

Australian Andre Stolz, who came out of retirement just two years ago, recorded an emotional triumph in the US$1 million Indonesia PGA Championship.

The 40-year-old fired a final round four-under-par 68 for a winning total of 14-under-par 274.

Overnight leader Rory Hie from Indonesia carded a 72 to finish alone in second place one shot behind Stolz at Imperial Klub Golf.

New Zealander Gareth Paddison and Park Eun-shin from Korea finished one stroke further back in the season-opening event on OneAsia.

Stolz’ win follows a torrid time in recent years, battling a wrist problem that forced him into retirement for nearly three years. He gradually started to play again and rejoined the Tour in Australia in 2008.

In 2009 he won the Victorian PGA Championship but his win in Jakarta, worth a cool US$180,000, emphatically announced his return to the top flight.

“A couple of years ago I thought I would never play again and now I am standing here with a trophy for a US$1million event. It will take some time to sink in,” said Stolz, whose wife Cathy was caddying for him.

Stolz won the 2004 Michelin Championship in Las Vegas on the US PGA Tour and more victories were expected to come until his injury.

“I had to completely remodel my swing. The second half of last year I started to play really well and this week I played great but the putter was misbehaving,” added the Australian, who turned professional in 1992.

His putting came good at the correct time, though, when he rammed in a 35-foot birdie putt on 17 and holed an eight footer for birdie on the last.

Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant finished fifth after shooting a 70. He thrilled the crowds by holing his second shot for an eagle on the 17th.

China’s Liang Wenchong, the reigning OneAsia Order of Merit champion, ended in a tie for 28th place after closing with a 76.

The next event on OneAsia is the Volvo China Open at Luxehills International Country Club from April 21 to 24.

 

Leading final round scores:

(Par 72)

 

274 – Andre Stolz (AUS) 67 70 69 68

275 – Rory Hie (INA) 68 68 67 72

276 – Gareth Paddison (NZL) 72 67 69 68, Park Eun-Shin (KOR) 69 71 66 70

277 – Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 71 70 66 70

278 – Paul Sheehan (AUS) 69 69 70 70, Matthew Millar (AUS) 63 70 71 74

279 – Bae Sang-moon (KOR) 71 69 71 68, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 72 69 68 70

280 – Wu Ashun (CHN) 69 67 74 70

281 – Leigh Mckechnie (AUS) 69 70 74 68, Heath Reed (AUS) 69 68 75 69, Hong Soon-Sang (KOR) 68 69 74 70, Ryu Hyun-Woo (KOR) 71 71 69 70, Michael Hendry (NZL) 70 70 70 71, Ted Oh (KOR) 72 69 69 71

 

ANDRE STOLZ PROFILE

Birthdate: 10 May 1970
Birthplace: Brisbane, Qld
Residence: Central Coast, NSW
Turned Professional: 1992

PGA Tour of Australasia Victories: 2000 ANZ Tour Championship, 2002 Queensland PGA Championship, 2002 Victoria Open,  2009 Cellarbrations Victorian PGA Championship (Australasian Tour)

Other Victories: 2003 La Salle Bank Open (Nationwide Tour), 2003 Token Homemate Cup (Japan), 2004 Michelin Championship, Las Vegas (US PGA Tour),  2011 Indonesia PGA Championship (OneAsia)

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