| Jyoti Randhawa during the final round of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. (Reuters)
Kuala Lumpur: Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee led throughout to retain his Malaysian Open title by three strokes Sunday.
The former paratrooper carded a final round 70 on the Saujana course to claim the co-sanctioned Asian and European Tour event with a total of 21 under from India's Jyoti Randhawa. Sweden's Henrik Stenson was a shot behind in third.
Ireland's Padraig Harrington, the highest ranked player in the field, finished with a disappointing 74 to end in a share of eighth place on 10-under par.
Thongchai led the first round by three strokes, the second by two and took a commanding six-shot advantage into the final day's play.
Twelve months ago he became the first Thai player to win on the European Tour and his successful defence here gave him his seventh victory on the Asian Tour.
'I am feeling very good right now and after missing the cut in Singapore (in January), I was looking to do well and to win is fantastic,' said Thongchai.
There was an anxious moment when he drove out-of-bounds at the par-four 11th hole, but after a finding the fairway with his third, he played a superb shot to eight feet and holed the putt for a bogey.
That bogey reduced the lead to two strokes but the Thai stayed cool in the oppressive conditions with birdies at the 13th and 17th holes for a resounding victory.
Randhawa's efforts to catch Thongchai stalled when he bogeyed the fifth hole before finally denying Stenson a share of second with a last hole birdie.
Stenson recorded his best result since clinching the Heritage title last September at Woburn in England.
He birdied three of his four opening holes to join in the challenge before losing momentum with four straight pars.
Harrington was forced to settle for a share of eighth place after his round was spoilt by a third hole double bogey when he drove out-of-bounds after being distracted by a spectator's camera.