The West

Andre Stolz

Andre Stolz, who came out of retirement just over two years ago, recorded an emotional triumph in the $1 million Indonesia PGA Championship on Sunday, pipping local favourite Rory Hie.

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

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

Local fans were disappointed that 22-year-old Hie was unable to close the deal but applauded the Australian, who has had a torrid time in recent years.

Stolz was one of Australia's finest players before a wrist problem had a profound effect on his career.

He has won one title on each of the US PGA, Nationwide and Japan tours and has won four times on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

However, in 2005 a nagging wrist injury caused by wear and tear forced him into retirement for nearly three years.

He gradually started to play again and rejoined the Tour in Australia in 2008, including playing in the 2009 WA Open at Cottesloe and the WA PGA in Bunbury in which he finished fourth.

In 2009 he won the Victorian PGA Championship and late last year was fifth in the Australian Masters and one shot off a play-off for the Australian PGA title at Coolum.

But his win this week, worth $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 $1 million event. It will take some time to sink in," Stolz said.

"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."

His putting came good at the right time, though, when he rammed in a 12m birdie putt on the 17th and holed a 3m putt for birdie on the last.

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

Hie, playing in the final pairing behind Stolz, birdied the last two holes but lost his chance of winning when he bogeyed the 10th, double bogeyed the 11th and bogeyed the 12th.

The best-placed West Australian was Terry Pilkadaris in eighth place with 279. Steve Collins (283), Stephen Leaney (285) and Michael Long (286) also had their moments.

Indonesian PGA Championship, Jakarta, final scores
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: Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 72 69 68 70
Others: 283: Steve Collins 73 68 75 67. 285: Stephen Leaney 70 69 71 75. 286: Michael Long 68 70 73 75.

The West Australian

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