"'Catch me if you can,' says Kiradech"

Wed 12 Jun 2013

"'Catch me if you can,' says Kiradech"

  • SHARE
Samui, Thailand, June 12: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat has thrown down the gauntlet to his rivals by declaring he is ready to extend his lead at the top of the Order of Merit with a win at the THB 9.6 million (approximately US$312,000) Queen’s Cup which tees off on Thursday.
Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Queen’s Cup is held in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit and is one of four tournaments in Thailand to feature on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season after establishing itself as a players’ organisation in 2004
All eyes will be on Kiradech who will be among the top contenders at Santiburi Samui Country Club following a magnificent season so far where he won his second Asian Tour title in Malaysia in addition to three other top-five finishes.
“This is going to be a big week for me as it’s not very often that I can get the chance to play at home. Now that I’m back, I’ll try to play my best golf so that I can finish strongly and extend my lead at the top,” said Kiradech.
“My target for the year has always remained the same and that is to win the Order of Merit and finish inside the top-50 in the world ranking. I’ll try to play in more events in Asia so that I can improve on my world ranking and get into all the major events,” added Kiradech who is ranked 87th in the world.
Kiradech, who finished tied-12th at last year’s edition, has also been chalking invaluable experience by playing in Europe so that he can become an all-rounded global player.
“It has been a good experience playing in Europe. The main differences are the weather and the food. Coming from a tropical country like Thailand and going over to play under such wet and cold conditions can be a huge challenge,” said Kiradech.
“But having said that, my aim is to more gain experience by playing in Europe so that I can develop myself into a better player,” added Kiradech.
Meanwhile reigning Order of Merit champion and defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand believes the Queen’s Cup will be retained on home soil despite the presence of 23 countries which will be represented at the Queen’s Cup this week.
“All Thai players will be extra motivated to win the Queen’s Cup as it’s an honour to play and ultimately win the trophy,” said Thaworn.
The Queen’s Cup is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Thailand PGA and is held in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit who celebrates her 81st birthday this year.
Thaworn’s victory at the Queen’s Cup last year sparked a magnificent record-breaking season where he won two other tournaments and subsequently became the oldest Asian Tour number one.
The 45-year-old will be making his fifth start on the Asian Tour this week and is looking forward to repeating his winning feat again.
“It always brings back good memories whenever you come back to a place where you’ve won before. Hopefully, I can do the same again this week,” said Thaworn.
2010 Queen’s Cup champion Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan, however believes he can stop Thaworn and the other contenders in their tracks as he bids to end a two-year title drought on the region’s premier Tour.
“I was not in my best form when I won the Queen’s Cup three years ago. But now, I feel very good about my game and I believe I can put up a strong challenge for the title again,” said Hiratsuka.
“I’ve always enjoyed coming over to Thailand and this week is no different. I’ve won twice in Thailand so far and I’m looking for the third one this week,” said the four-time Asian Tour winner.
The Queen’s Cup will be staged at the Santiburi Samui Country Club from June 13 to 16 with the event broadcast live on True Sport and also featured on the Asian Tour Golf and Highlights show.
Queen’s Cup Bangkok Airways – SAT Samui Golf Tournament 2013 is mainly sponsored by Bangkok Airways, Sports Authority of Thailand, Santiburi Samui Country Club, Bangkok Hospital Group, PTT Co.,Ltd, Bangkok Bank, Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group, Tourism Authority of Thailand and co-sponsored by Four Seasons Resort, Samui Palm Beach Resort and Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam.
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), 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