Kiradech and Thaworn eye magical week

Sat 13 Jul 2013

Kiradech and Thaworn eye magical week

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July 13: Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand is gearing up for the biggest challenge of his career when he makes his Major debut at The Open Championship at Muirfield next week.
The big-hitting Kiradech, who secured his second Asian Tour title at the Maybank Malaysian Open in March, is determined to put on his best performance despite his unfamiliarity with links golf.
“I’ve been trying to work on my swing because the conditions will be different at The Open. The wind will be a big challenge for us (Asians) because we don’t play in windy conditions in Asia,” said the 23-year-old.
“I’ve played in several links-type golf courses in Japan but it is different in Scotland. It will be very windy and it might even rain. It will be tough. I must feel comfortable with the conditions,” added Kiradech.
Dubbed Asia’s John Daly for his grip it-and-rip it style of play, Kiradech qualified for the year’s third Major by winning The Open Championship International Final Qualifying – Asia in March on home soil.
He will be joined in Muirfield by fellow Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee, who earned his place in the elite field through his European Tour ranking, and Thaworn Wiratchant, who earned an exemption thanks to winning the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season.
The other Asian Tour stars who will face the likes of title holder Ernie Els and world number one Tiger Woods at The Open include honorary members K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang of Korea, Shiv Kapur of India and Kim Hyung-sung, also of Korea.
Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand
“I’ve watched many great players win The Open on TV, so I’m proud that I’ll be able to play in the championship. It is nice to have Thaworn and Thongchai in the field as well. I must learn from them because they have achieved so much in golf,” said Kiradech.
Thaworn, who holds an unprecedented 15 Asian Tour titles, will make his second Open Championship appearance after finishing a credible 31st at the Royal Liverpool in 2006.
“It was a nice week in 2006 at Liverpool. It was warm and calm back then which was different. I still remember my chip-in on the 13th hole on the final day. It was a tough hole and I chipped from the right side into the hole. I received very loud cheers from the spectators,” said Thaworn.
The 46-year-old is preparing himself for a blustery and cold week. “The tee shots will be very important. The winds and bunkers will make it very difficult. If your tee shot is against the wind then it will be tough for me on my approach shots.
“I’m working out on my physical side and my iron play right now. I hope I will be fit in time for The Open. I also hope it will not be too cold this year!” said Thaworn.
He hopes to make the cut at The Open after missing the weekend rounds at the Masters Tournament in April where he earned a special invitation due to his magical season on the Asian Tour in 2012 where he won three times.
“I want to play my best golf and see if I can make the cut again or not. I have to work hard on my irons. I hope I can walk four rounds at The Open again. I'm not sure if it will still be cold that time. I have to get my physical fit to face the Scottish weather,” said Thaworn.
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), 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.