Arnond ready to start defence with a bang

Wed 15 Jan 2014

Arnond ready to start defence with a bang

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Hua Hin, Thailand January 15: Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij hopes the euphoria of winning his maiden title will serve as a motivation in his title defence at the US$1 million King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin which tees off at the Black Mountain Golf Club on Thursday.
The 25-year-old finance graduate, who goes by the nickname ‘Bank’, will be happy to add up all the right numbers again at the season-ending King’s Cup, which recently inked a five-year agreement with the Asian Tour.
“I’m very excited to come back and defend. This is one of the premier tournaments in Thailand and it will be an honour to win it again. I’ve learnt a lot and I’m ready for the tournament to get underway,” said Arnond.
Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia
It has been a steep learning curve for Arnond since he made his debut on the region’s premier Tour in 2012.
He earned his breakthrough by defeating veterans Mardan Mamat of Singapore and countryman Thaworn Wiratchant to win the prestigious King’s Cup title in 2012 and will be eager to execute his game plan to perfection again.
“Last year, I hit the ball much better and made good putts but unfortunately, not many dropped. I’ve been working on that and I feel like it is coming around. I’m feeling better this year and I look forward to being in contention again.
I got a chance to play on this course a couple of times. I know the layout but I don’t know the greens that well. So I’ve to use my instinct and read it as I go along,” said Arnond.
Meanwhile as the highest ranked player in second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit this week, Australia’s Scott Hend is looking forward to be back in the thick of action having spent his well-deserved break with his family.
“I went back to Australia with my kids for the first time in a couple of years. I spent some time with my brother-in-law who is caddying for me this week. I didn’t play much golf at all until last week when I picked up my clubs again,” said Hend, who is based in Florida in the United States.
Hend enjoyed a phenomenal year when he surpassed even his own expectations by bagging a treble of victories in Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Macau in 2013.
With the New Year only into its third week, the 40-year-old is ready to build on his strong finish and has laid down new goals for the 2014 season.
“It’ll be nice to finish off the 2013 season well and secure my second place on the Order of Merit behind Kiradech,” said Hend.
“Winning three times and playing solid all the way throughout the season was definitely a year to remember for me. I want to do that again or even better that in the new season,” added the Australian.
Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg is determined to get back onto the winning trail and will have a slight advantage of doing so as he will be playing at his home course at the Black Mountain Golf Club this week.
Rikard Karlberg of Sweden Rikard Karlberg of Sweden
“The greens are always great here but this week we will be playing on really fast greens with different pin locations. You’ll have a little bit of advantage because you know your way around the course, having played so many rounds here,” said Karlberg.
With his last victory on the Asian Tour dating back to 2010, the 27-year-old is determined to recapture his winning form as he knows another victory on the region’s premier Tour is long overdue.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t win one or two tournaments since my great Asian Tour start in 2010. I’ve worked a lot on my game, especially my techniques. The game feels great but I just have to work on the mental aspect of things,” said Karlberg.
For the first time ever, the King’s Cup will be broadcast live, over four rounds on the Asian Tour’s global television platform which reaches over 180 countries and 640 million homes, ensuring extensive worldwide exposure for the popular beach resort town of Hua Hin, sponsors, and the Kingdom of Thailand itself.
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 Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), 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.