Pariya gets his kick from winning again

Fri 28 Jun 2013

Pariya gets his kick from winning again

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Kuala Lumpur, June 28: Pariya Junhasavasdikul has revealed how taking up Thai kickboxing and mixed martial arts has revitalised his golf career which led to a second Asian Tour victory last weekend.
The Thai rising star ended a frustrating three-year title drought on the region’s premier Tour when he completed an impressive wire-to-wire victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia.
Subsequently, the 28-year-old said he has benefited immensely after learning Thai kickboxing, which is a traditional sport in his home country, and a host of other martial arts.
“I’ve been working on a lot of activities. I picked up Thai kickboxing and mixed martial arts over the past few months. That has helped a lot because I do a lot of cardio. I picked up a lot of these things that keep my heart pumping and things that get my mind away from golf,” said Pariya.
“It keeps me fit because I know that cardio keeps my heart pumping and when I’m walking 18 holes, I won’t feel exhausted. I can even go out there and walk another 36 holes! I’ve also started to surf which helps take my mind off things,” he added.
A graduate from Purdue University in the United States, Pariya is certainly a man of many talents as he is also a licenced pilot.
His hobbies might have little or nothing to do with golf but Pariya believes it has given him the edge that was previously missing in his game.
The Thai broke through on the Asian Tour at the 2010 Mercuries Taiwan Masters but struggled to maintain his top form for the next two seasons and was rarely on the leaderboards until his magical week in Malaysia.
He said that the talent coming through on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its 10th season as a players’ organisation this year, has made winning extremely difficult.
“I keep telling young guys that are coming up on the Asian Tour that when you play well and when you see that opportunity, seize it and don’t let it pass. I never know when my chance will come again to win and this opportunity presented itself and I held on to it,” said Pariya.
“Nobody can tell you how much pressure it is to lead from the first round until the last. From the golf course to the hotel room, you will be thinking about your lead which is only by one and not two, three or four. On that golf course, any slim lead didn’t really matter because things could change drastically with one bad shot.
“I told myself the night before the last round that I haven’t won this tournament yet. I’m only leading by one so I need to go out there and get it. Even when you are in the lead, it doesn’t mean it is yours. That took the pressure out a little bit,” he added.
It proved to be a bittersweet victory for Pariya as the win came at the expense of his best friend Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, who was leading in the final round before dropping a double bogey on the 16th hole and a bogey on the 17th hole to eventually finish third.
“It was very hard for me. It was an awkward situation. I was in the lead after he dropped the shots on 16. It is really tough to see your friend having a difficult time coming down the stretch and I didn’t know if I should go speak to him at that time or not at that time,” said Pariya.
“After I holed the last putt, Baek came up to me to congratulate me and I was overwhelmed. I gave him a pat on the back at the score recording area and told him that he played great and his chance will come because he is a great player. He will come out on top one day.”
While he may have found a new kick as a kickboxer and surfer, roaming the finest fairways on the Asian Tour remains his number one passion. “I’ll never trade kickboxing, surfing or mixed martial arts for golf. Golf is something I’ll always do,” he said with a smile.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf