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Aphibarnrat rallies to win Super 6 Perth

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It seems fitting that the most unpredictable tournament on the European Tour schedule played host to one of the more unexpected outcomes of the season.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat didn't commit to playing the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth until last week, and he showed up in Australia having never seen the host course. After 54 holes of stroke play, the Thai was the final survivor of a nine-man playoff simply to get into the match-play portion of the event, then went on to win five straight six-hole matches for his first European Tour title since 2015.

Aphibarnrat defeated Ben Eccles, Yusaku Miyazato, Sean Crocker and Lucas Herbert to reach Sunday's final at Lake Karrinyup Country Club. There he faced Australian native and former "Big Break" participant James Nitties, who he defeated, 2 and 1, with a curling birdie putt on the fifth hole of their match.

With the victory, Aphibarnrat is projected to crack the top 40 in the new Official World Golf Rankings.

"I don't know how to explain, but I'm so happy," Aphibarnrat told reporters. "It's really tough to get into the last 24. It's been tough every single match that I play in."

This is the second year of this unique event format, which cuts the field from 156 to 24 with three rounds of stroke play. Players then face off in elimination matches, with the top eight seeds given a first-round bye. Each match is six holes, with ties decided by a "knockout hole."

Prom Meesawat, whose 12-under total earned him medalist honors and was seven shots better than Aphibarnrat's through 54 holes, lost his first match to amateur Min Woo Lee. After losing to Aphibarnrat in the semifinals, Herbert defeated England's Sam Horsfield in the third-place match.