All-weather Thongchai game for Open charge

Wed 16 Jul 2014

All-weather Thongchai game for Open charge

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Hoylake, July 16: Thai standout Thongchai Jaidee believes his all-weather game could help him contend at The Open Championship which starts at Royal Liverpool on Thursday.
The triple Asian Tour number one reckons he now has the required shots in his bag and mind-set to tackle the vagaries of links golf which is closely associated with the world’s oldest Major championship.
“The feeling is good,” said Thongchai, whose best finish at The Open was joint 13th in Turnberry in 2009.
“I’m feeling confident after winning in Sweden (last month) and finishing top five in Germany and France. Everything comes up when you have confidence. I’m putting well, driving well and hitting my irons good. I’ve been working hard with my coach Peter Wolfenstetter this year and my game is feeling good.”
Two of Thongchai’s career wins were achieved under horrendous weather conditions in Korea and Wales which have given the former paratrooper the belief that he can handle the weather elements at Royal Liverpool.
“The course is playing hard and the weather is always the main thing. If the weather is good, it will be easy. But on links courses, you must expect anything. You have to know exactly what you want to do on a links course. The wind or rain will just come and you have to adjust and have a strong mind. That would be very important. You have to be mentally ready for any weather.
“The good thing is I have won in bad weather ... in Korea and Wales before. I’ve also learned so many things playing in in the UK for over 10 years now. I’m not scared of rain or bad weather.”
With his world ranking rising to a career high of 34th position, Thongchai, who has 13 wins on the Asian Tour and two in Europe, believes he has a chance to break into the top-10 as he is enjoying some of the best form of his life.
“For me, my life now is more than enough. It’s been a fantastic year. I’m not sure if it will get better but I will keep trying. If possible, I want to keep going higher in the world ranking. If I can get into the top-10, I would like that,” said Thongchai, who will be making his eighth appearance at The Open.
His coach Wolfenstetter has tipped his student to challenge for a first Major victory against a star-studded lineup at Royal Liverpool.
“He’s got good brains and a strong mind,” said the German. “With experience, he has learned to hit various shots under different kinds of condition which is a key point in his development. He now knows how to see the shots required and he will be able to adjust accordingly.
“This year, we’ve spent the most time together working on his game and the results have shown. His putting has improved where he used to be wristy, flipping his hands on impact but we’ve changed all that.
“He certainly has the ability to win a Major, even this week. At the Open, luck will play a part as you always need to be on the good side of the draw.”
Thongchai, who captained Asia to a memorable draw with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia in March, will take it one shot at a time when he begins his campaign tomorrow in the company of Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez and Bill Haas of the United States.
“You can’t expect anything in a Major. The important thing is to hit it one shot at a time. You can’t expect to be on the leaderboard. I just want to play my own game,” he said.
About the Asian Tour
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball) 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.