Fit Chapchai returns to form after weight loss

Mon 27 Apr 2015

Fit Chapchai returns to form after weight loss

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Sentosa, Singapore, April 27: Chapchai Nirat has a slimmer waistline and more muscular frame but his appetite for success continues to grow.
The aggressive Thai battled tooth-and-nail in the final round of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters Presented by Enjoy Jakarta Golf but was defeated by Lee Westwood of England, who birdied the first extra hole.
Despite missing the chance to land his fifth Asian Tour title, Chapchai, who is nicknamed ‘King Kong’ by his peers, was still proud of his achievement and never-say-never attitude which was evident when he snapped his iron against a tree in the third round.
“When I started the final round, I told myself a top-three finish would be fantastic, considering how good Lee has played this week,” explained the 31-year-old Chapchai, who moved to 11th position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
“Getting into the play-off was a bonus and I’m very proud of myself despite the defeat. I managed to sort out my putting this week. And that’s important as it’ll help in the long season ahead.”

Packed with a powerful golf game, fans around the world certainly took notice of Chapchai, who before 2014, endured a frustrating dip in form due to his weight and size which caused problems in his swing.
From 2005 to 2009, Chapchai never finished outside the top-30 on the Order of Merit. His best result was finishing second on the Merit list in 2007 courtesy of winning two Asian Tour titles.
In 2009, he claimed his third Asian Tour victory by establishing the world 72-hole scoring record with a stunning 32-under-par 256 winning total at the SAIL Open in India.
After that victory, Chapchai gained considerable amount of weight which he had to shed by going to the gym regularly and watching his diet. His hard work was finally rewarded when he ended a five-year title drought at the 2014 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters.
“After my last win, I had issues with my swing which related to my body weight of 120kgs. Now, I’m 93, so I can go back to the old swing,” said Chapchai when he won the Malaysian event last year.
While Chapchai was praised for his efforts, Kalem Richardson of Australia inched closer towards retaining a full Asian Tour card for 2016 when he finished third, one-shot shy from joining the play-off.
Playing in his second year on the Asian Tour, Richardson enjoyed a superb rookie season when he notched two top-five results. After poor performances in the first three Asian Tour events, the Australian is slowly finding his stride again as he prepares for the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open next week.
“I haven’t finish inside the top-20 in my last three events on the Asian Tour and I was really looking forward to the week. It’ll be nice to have my card secured early in the season. And I knew if I can have a good day, it’ll help to secure my card. There’s Mauritius next and I’m looking forward to it,” said Richardson.
The Asian Tour will travel to the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open which will be staged at the scenic Heritage Golf Club. The inaugural event is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Sunshine Tour and offers a prize fund of €1 million (approximately US$1.11 million).
Asian Tour Order of Merit (Top-20)
Pos Player Earnings (US$)
1. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $772,300
2. Andrew DODT (AUS) $354,330
3. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) $229,639
4. Scott HEND (AUS)    $218,710
5. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) $207,670
6. Richard T. LEE (CAN) $189,188
7. Paul PETERSON (USA) $150,650
8. Marcus FRASER (AUS) $115,771
9. Wade ORMSBY (AUS) $109,700
10. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $106,800
11. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) $105,720
12. Jason KNUTZON (USA) $96,723
13. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) $87,442
14. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) $84,933
15. Jeunghun WANG (KOR) $81,036
16. Nathan HOLMAN (AUS) $78,200
17. Mithun PERERA (SRI) $77,292
18. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) $64,510
19. Kalem RICHARDSON (AUS) $60,750
20. Shiv KAPUR (IND) $53,000
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf