The former paratrooper broke into the world’s top-100 following a hot streak which started with victory at the Volvo Masters of Asia on home soil last December. He later secured back to back victories in the Myanmar Open and Carlsberg Malaysian Open in February.
His win in Malaysia made him the first Thai to taste victory on the European Tour, which earned him his card in Europe until the end of the 2006 season. Thongchai plans to venture to Europe in the coming weeks and bid to break into the world’s top-50 which will earn him exemptions into the Majors and the World Golf Championship events.
India’s Jyoti Randhawa, who trail Thongchai on the money ranking, enters the week in 100th position on the world ranking. Randhawa, who became the first Indian winner in Japan last year following his success in the Suntory Open, has achieved two top-three finishes this season, at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand and recent Caltex Masters Presented by Carlsberg, Singapore 2004.
Last month, he booked his third appearance in the British Open by finishing joint medallist in the International Final Qualifying ?V Asia in Saujana Golf and Country Club.
Chinese star Zhang Lian-wei is presently ranked 186th in the world. He played in his first Masters last week but agonisingly missed the halfway cut by one stroke.
For the full rankings, go to www.owgr.com