Jaidee's bid falls short; Els back to belly putter


Scott Hend’s closing 64 in Thailand meant more than his third title on the Asian Tour. It also signaled the end to the slim Masters hopes of Thongchai Jaidee, who needed a solo second or better to clinch a spot at Augusta via the Official World Golf Ranking.

Jaidee, who entered the final round of the inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic in a tie for second, five shots behind Prayad Marksaeng, eventually tied for 10th after a final-round 72.

A win would have moved Jaidee (currently ranked 59th) to 49th. A solo second would have put him 50th in the world, though he likely would have been passed by Marcel Siem (leader in the European Tour event) or others in Houston.

Ernie Els, who made news this week by switching back to the conventional putter, returned to the belly putter during the final round and finished in a tie for 14th.

“I just wanted to play (with the belly putter) today since it was my last competitive round before the Masters,” he said, according to the Asian Tour’s website. “Mentally, I was going to do the long putter at the Masters. I wanted to feel what it is like under a little bit of pressure.”