Arnond gears up for new challenges

Tue 20 Aug 2013

Arnond gears up for new challenges

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August 20: Thailand’s rising star Arnond Vongvanij will tick off another career milestone when he makes his debut at the Omega European Masters at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland from September 5-8.
The Omega European Masters is the only tournament on European soil to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour and will mark the start of the second half of the Asian Tour season.
Arnond will be among the region’s best players resuming their search for glory and the Omega European Masters marks another significant chapter in his distinguished career since making his debut on the Asian Tour last year.
“I am very excited to play in the Omega European Masters. It is one of the most prestigious events in the Asian tour schedule and it is the only one that takes place in Europe, so I'm really looking forward to this new experience,” said Arnond.
The 25-year-old, who grew up in the United States, is no stranger to the cold weather.
However, with the Omega European Masters being played in the Swiss Alps, he hopes to overcome the high altitude with a training regime that he has put in place.
“I am somewhat familiar with the cold weather because I grew up in the US and I’ve played in the cold weather there. The playing conditions will indeed be very different. We’re playing in the mountains and at a higher altitude, so the weather is going to be colder and the condition of the course is going to be tougher,” said Arnond.
“For the altitudes, I have been working with my fitness coach to improve my cardio and I’ve been playing in some mountain courses in Thailand to try and get used to it,” added the slightly built Thai.
Arnond, who was born in Hawaii, spent his formative years honing his skills at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida, United States but decided to turn his focus towards the Far East where he wanted to gain invaluable playing opportunities on the region’s premier Tour.
Since his career breakthrough on home soil last season by winning the King’s Cup, Arnond has been making steady progress on the Asian Tour.
He started the year with a tied-10th finish at the season-opening event in Myanmar and almost added a second win when he came in second at the Queen’s Cup in June.
“My game started to get better from the Ballantine's Championship and I almost won the Queen’s Cup. My ranking on the Order of Merit midway through the season has also improved a lot compared to the same period last year. So overall I think my game is heading in the right direction,” said Arnond, who is currently 18th on the Order of Merit.
To date, Arnond’s happiest moment on the golf course came when he sunk his winning putt to lift the King’s Cup.
He plans to add another career highlight with a noteworthy performance at the Omega European Masters as a good result will ultimately have a significant bearing on his position on the Order of Merit at the end of the season.
“There are a lot of tournaments to be played in the second half of the season and my goal is to take good care of my body and avoid injuries. The ultimate goal is to win another tournament and get inside the top-five on the Order of Merit,” said Arnond.
Arnond will have his boyhood idol Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, for company at the Omega European Masters alongside with several of Thailand’s heavyweights including Thaworn Wiratchant, Pariya Junhasavadikul, Prom Meesawat and Chapchai Nirat.
Other Asian Tour champions who will tee up in Crans include Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, Australia’s Scott Hend and Bangladesh’s Siddikur.
They will face a stellar field from the European Tour that features the likes of Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Italy's Matteo Manassero, 2010 Omega European Masters champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain as well as Scotland's Paul Lawrie and Richie Ramsay who will be returning to defend his title.
Ends.
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.comwww.facebook.com/asiantourgolf , www.twitter.com/asiantourgolfwww.youtube.com/theasiantour  and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.