Asian Tour no. 1 Thaworn hopes to defy odds in Masters debut

Sun 07 Apr 2013

Asian Tour no. 1 Thaworn hopes to defy odds in Masters debut

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April 7: Asian Tour No. 1 Thaworn Wiratchant hopes to defy the odds by becoming the first Thai golfer to play in all four rounds at the Masters Tournament when he makes his debut next week.
The 46-year-old  veteran star was invited by Augusta National Golf Club to play in the year’s opening Major following a stellar season in 2012 where he won three times and became the oldest player to win the Order of Merit on the region’s premier circuit.
He follows the footsteps of countrymen Sukree Onsham, Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng to tee up alongside the world’s elite at the fabled tournament but hopes to do what the trio failed to achieve – qualify for the weekend rounds.
“I’ll try to make the cut … that would be the goal. If I don’t make it, then I want to ensure that I had played my best. The players at the Masters are all good players and it is a very challenging golf course,” said Thaworn, whose previous Major appearance was at the 2006 British Open where he finished tied 31st.
The unorthodox swinging Thai made an impression at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship in Doral last month, shooting early rounds of 69s to feature on the leaderboard before slipping back to tied 53rd position over the weekend.
As he is not amongst the longest of hitters on Tour, Thaworn has put in the extra effort in recent weeks with his long irons in an attempt to master the par-72, 7,435 yard Augusta National but knows the tricky greens will pose the main test.
“From what I’ve seen, you have to be good in every department, especially around the greens which are very fast and tricky. I am sure it will be really challenging but I am looking forward to my first trip there,” said Thaworn, who is known as a short-game wizard in Asia.
“I will listen to Prayad’s advice as he has been to the Masters. Robert Garrigus and Zach Johnson also gave me some advice when I played with them at the recent Cadillac Championship.”
Since earning the special invitation to compete in his first Masters, Thaworn, who is ranked 81st in the world, has been inundated with congratulatory messages, advice and offers from caddies to carry his bag at Augusta National.
“Some of the advice has been very helpful. But I will adjust my routine accordingly. If I miss the cut, I may get criticism but if I make the cut, the story may change. This is natural. I accept that. And I will focus on my routine rather than thinking about what others might think. This is my chance of being in a wonderful event so I will spend as long as I can at the tournament and I will try my best to play four days.”
He hopes his appearance at the Masters will inspire other young Asian Tour upcoming stars to play their way to Augusta National.
“This is good for me and certainly good for many other players who want to play in the Masters and the other Majors. If I can make it at my age, the younger players will have a chance as well,” he said.
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), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Stats 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