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Sanjay Nair
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sports

Aguilar kisses goodbye to six-year drought

The Straits Times | Sanjay Nair | Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Felipe Aguilar of Chile poses with the trophy after winning of the Championship golf tournament at Laguna National in Singapore on May 3, 2014.

SINGAPORE - With The Championship trophy on the line, Felipe Aguilar and his long-time caddie Omar Peralta made a curious choice on Laguna National's par-four 18th yesterday.

Some 140 yards away from the pin and with little wind, it was set up nicely for a nine-iron.

But after intense discussion with his trusty deputy - an ex-pro himself - the Chilean golfer decided instead to attack with a pitching wedge.

Five seconds and three bounces later, the ball dropped into the cup for an eagle. Cue thunderous cheers from the gallery and looks of pure disbelief mixed with joy from the South American duo.

"The best shot of my life - well, it's the best because I won a tournament because of it," a gleeful Aguilar reflected later.

As significant as the $314,000 winner's cheque was the fact that the triumph also ended a six-year drought dotted with painful play-off losses and bridesmaid finishes.

"I never was able to get the round going on the last day so it is nice to finally do it," said the Santiago resident, who last won on the European Tour at the 2008 Indonesia Open.

"You keep plugging away for a day like today, where luck and the greens are on your side."

The magical shot on the Masters course capped a superlative round of 10-under 62 for a 266 total. But it did not win him the trophy immediately as overnight co-leader Anders Hansen was three flights behind.

Still, word of Aguilar's effort spread across the course and this seemed to affect the Dane who had been three strokes ahead at the turn.

Seemingly in cruise control, the three-time European Tour winner inexplicably drove the ball into a bunker on the expansive par-four 16th.

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