2012 Reflections with Arnond

Tue 08 Jan 2013

2012 Reflections with Arnond

Kuala Lumpur, January 8: Asiantour.com continues with our Reflection Series where we speak to Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij, who enjoyed a memorable rookie season in 2012 by winning the King’s Cup on home soil. He assesses his season, talks about the main highlight of the year and reflects on the lessons learnt from his first year on the Asian Tour.

Assess your 2012 season?

I was very happy with the way I played all year. There were a few bumps along the way in the middle of the season when I missed a few cuts but it was a good learning experience. I was able to use that in the latter part of the year which helped a lot.

What was the main highlight which would be pretty obvious?

It was the King’s Cup win as it was unexpected as Mardan Mamat and Thaworn Wiratchant were battling it out and I was three shots back going into the last round. I never thought I would win as they are veterans. I just kept trying to make birdies and somehow I ended up on top.

If that was the high point, what was the low point?
After missing the cut at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, my swing was not good as I changed the grips on the clubs. I put in a lot of work on the grip during the one-week break and it started to work at the CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi where I finished eighth there. From then on, everything started to click which led me to the win.

If there is a shot that you can replay in 2012, which one would that be?

It was probably my last chip at the Mercuries. I was right on the cut playing the last hole in the second round. I was in front of the green but chipped it too hard and didn’t get it up and down for par to miss the cut by one shot.

What was your favourite tournament?
I want to say the Thailand Golf Championship (as he played with Bubba Watson and Ryo Ishikawa) but I had to withdraw from the first round due to a back injury. I liked the CJ Invitational a lot as the golf course (Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club) was really good that week.

What did you learn about yourself last year?
A lot. I take notes after every tournament on my phone to remind myself what I learned from each tournament. That helps me from week to week. Most of the knowledge that I get is when I’m not playing good and trying to figure out how to make the cut when you’re not playing well. When you’re playing well, everything is easy.

What was the best advice you wrote?
It was to remain very patient when things don’t go your way on the golf course. You try not to make it go your way. Try to make a few pars in a row and to give yourself chances and things will come around.

What will you work on during the off season?
My body. I want to get my back and lower body a lot stronger. I’m going to be playing and travelling a lot more in 2013 due to my winner’s status on Tour, so I want to be stronger and not have any more injuries like last year.

Who do you think will be the next big star on the Asian Tour in 2013?

I don’t know. Hopefully it’s me! But obviously, David Lipsky is playing great golf and Coconut (Panuphol Pittayarat) and Gunn Charoenkul are also very good players. Gunn played only six events and finished in the top-40 on the rankings which was very good.

How would you reward yourself for a great rookie year?
Normally, I fly economy when I go home to Florida but this time, I’m upgrading to business class!

About Arnond

Country: Thailand

Date Of Birth: December 15, 1988

Residence: Bangkok

Family: Single

Turned Pro: 2011

ASIAN TOUR VICTORY: (1) 2012 King’s Cup

Arnond was born in Hawaii but grew up in Thailand. He subsequently moved to Florida at the age of 12 to play golf in the David Leadbetter Golf Academy. He graduated from the University of Florida with a finance degree and earned his Asian Tour card at the 2012 Qualifying School. Rates Thongchai Jaidee as his role model. He is nicknamed “Bank” because he was born the night after his mother took her final examinations for her Masters degree in financial banking.