Fitter Panuphol aims to sprint to finish line

Mon 17 Jun 2013

Fitter Panuphol aims to sprint to finish line

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Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia, June 17: Upcoming Thai star Panuphol Pittayarat is hoping a new fitness regime will lead him to a first Asian Tour victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters which starts on Thursday.
The 20-year-old, who is nicknamed ‘Coconut’, has been working on a biometric cardio workout which has improved his fitness and golf game over the past month. The result was evident as he finished fourth at the Queen’s Cup on home soil courtesy of a blistering final round of 64 on Sunday.
A confident Panuphol now hopes to extend his rich vein of form at this week’s RM1.2 million (approximately US$400,000) Asian Tour event which makes a return to its traditional home, the Seri Selangor Golf Club after a two-year lapse.
“My finish on Sunday gave me a lot of confidence for my bad start to the year. I’m looking forward to this week and keep playing well. During the break I changed almost everything from the way I’ve been practising, a bit on my swing and my fitness plan,” said Panuphol.
He decided to embark on a fitness regime after realising he was losing steam during the final day of every tournament. Panuphol, who finished runner-up at the Worldwide Holding Selangor Masters in 2011, said the new fitness regime has become a game-changer which led him to a first professional victory in a domestic Thai tournament two weeks ago.
“That was a good victory. Although the event wasn’t as big as the Asian Tour, it is still a win. The victory taught me how to win and gave me a sense of how it feels to be a winner,” he smiled.
“This cardio biometric keeps me fit and refreshed. I used to feel tired when I’m playing on a Sunday but I felt great at the Queen’s Cup yesterday (Sunday),” added the bespectacled Panuphol, who explained that the regime requires him to do rigorous cardio exercises for 45 minutes for six days a week.
Panuphol is relishing his first visit to the challenging Seri Selangor course and hopes he succeed countryman Thaworn Wiratchant, who will be defending his title.
“I heard it is a tight golf course with tight fairways and trick greens. It is going to be very challenging but I’m looking forward to it,” said Panuphol.
Rick Kulacz of Australia, winner of the 2009 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters, is determined to bounce back to his best form at the venue where he won his second Asian Tour title.
He has much to play for this week after losing his Asian Tour card for 2013. He could not play at the Qualifying School earlier this year because of a torn ligament in his left thumb and will rely on limited playing opportunities this year.
He qualified for this week’s event through a past winners’ category.
“It’s good to be back. I haven’t been here since I won. Looking forward to the week and hopefully I play as I good as the last time,” said Kulacz, who shot a final round 63 to win the 2009 edition.
“I remember I kind of hung in there for the first three days and then got a hot start in the last day and it kind of went for there. I had momentum from the first tee, birdied five of the first six holes and didn’t make any mistakes. I just I had a blinder of a round.”
He will be inspired to emulate his winning performance four years ago after watching highlights of his victory at Seri Selangor.
“I watched the highlights of my win. It’s nice to be back here. The course hasn’t changed in the last four years which is kind of comforting. It’s the same course. You have to hit it straight. I did forget how narrow it was!” added Kulacz.
More than 30 Asian Tour winners will make their way to the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters including Scott Hend of Australia, currently third on the Order of Merit, Anirban Lahiri of India, Siddikur of Bangladesh and Berry Henson of the United States.
The Malaysian charge will be spearheaded by Shaaban Hussin, who won in Penang on Saturday, Danny Chia, Nicholas Fung and highly rated amateur Gavin Green.
Worldwide Holdings, a 100 per cent subsidiary of PKNS – the development arm of the state of Selangor – will title sponsor the Selangor Masters for the sixth successive year. The state-linked company has an impressive portfolio of businesses which include property development and investment, environmental management services and investment holding in Selangor.
The weekend rounds of the tournament will be telecast live on the Asian Tour’s global platform which reaches over 200 countries and 650 million homes.
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), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics 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