In-form Thongchai leads Asian charge at the U.S. Open

Tue 11 Jun 2013

In-form Thongchai leads Asian charge at the U.S. Open

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June 11: Thai star Thongchai Jaidee will carry his superb form into this week’s U.S. Open as he bids to become the second Asian to win a Major championship.
Thongchai, who has yet to miss a single cut this season, will be the highest ranked Asian at the Merion Golf Club where he sits in 52nd position on the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
He will be joined in Merion by Asian Tour members Rikard Karlberg of Sweden, Yoshinobu Tsukada of Japan and honorary members K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang, who made history by becoming the first Asian to lift a Major trophy in 2009.
Former Tour member Bae Sang-moon of Korea will also be in the elite field where Webb Simpson will defend his title.
Thongchai, who holds an unprecedented three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns, has enjoyed a stellar year so far where he has eight top-10s.
His standout performance was at the Volvo World Match Play championship last month where he battled his way into the final before losing to Europe’s Ryder Cup star Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland.
Despite the setback, Thongchai jumped to 49th position on the OWGR, which earned him a spot in the year’s second Major. He is delighted to return to the U.S. Open where he made history in 2001 by becoming the first Thai to qualify and play in all four rounds in the event.
Since his historic feat, Thongchai has gone on to enjoy huge success in his career by winning 13 Asian Tour titles and claiming his first title in Europe when he won the 2012 ISPS Handa Wales Open. He is also the only player to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns.
Choi, who has led the Asian charge for nearly a decade, hopes to rediscover his best form in a season where he has three top-10s and is currently ranked 98th in the world.
This will be Choi’s ninth straight appearance at the U.S. Open where he will be aiming to secure his first top-10 result. His best finish at the U.S. Open so far was tied 15th in 2005.
Yang is also determined to turn the corner in his season after missing three straight cuts on the PGA Tour. The U.S. Open holds fond memories for the Korean as he finished tied third in the 2011 edition.
Ends.