Devastated Arnond Bows Out From TGC

Thu 06 Dec 2012

Devastated Arnond Bows Out From TGC

Chonburi, Thailand, December 6: Four days after reaching the top of the world, Thai rising star Arnond Vongvanij came crashing back down to earth as he succumbed to a back strain which forced him into an early exit at the Thailand Golf Championship on Thursday.

The pint-sized Thai, who won his first Asian Tour title at the King’s Cup on home soil last weekend, battled through the pain barrier for 12 holes before retiring while playing alongside reigning Masters Tournament winner Bubba Watson and Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa.

“I felt the pain midway at the pro-am on Wednesday. I didn’t think it was serious so I had the physiotherapist massage my back. I think they might have worked on it too much and I think my back was inflamed. So I took medication to get better today,” he said.


“I played the first 12 holes with some pain. I thought after a couple of holes, the heat would loosen it up but it didn’t.”

The highly rated Thai, who started his day from the back nine, was determined to finish the round but the pain amplified when he hit a fairway bunker shot on the third hole.

“With that bunker shot, everything just locked up and when I completed the back swing, my back experienced spasm and pain. I tried to make a second shot and it got worst. That was when I knew I couldn’t go on,” he said.


He was devastated to retire from the US$1 million Asian Tour event after earning a dream draw with two of the world’s renowned players.

“Bubba is a very nice guy. He is very friendly. Both of us went to college in the United States. He went to Georgia and I went to Florida so there was a bit of rivalry there. We were talking a bit of college football. Mostly not golf related,” said Arnond.


“I’ve been looking forward to this tournament all year. Great course and great field and I had a really good pairing with Ryo (Ishikawa), who I knew since I was young and Bubba. It was really unfortunate because I really wanted to finish the round with them regardless of the result,” added the Thai.