Kiradech enjoys another high five

Sun 24 Nov 2013

Kiradech enjoys another high five

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Melbourne, VIC, November 24: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat cemented his growing reputation as a global rising star when he finished equal fifth in the individual category of the US$8 million ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf on Sunday.
Tied with Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa as the top Asian finishers at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the 24-year-old Kiradech, who currently leads the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, ended his impressive campaign with a battling one-under-par 70 and a three-under-par 281 aggregate.
It was Kiradech’s third top-five finish over the past two months, which included an eye-popping third place finish at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, an event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA TOUR last month.
“Finishing top five again, I’m happy,” said the burly Thai, who earned US$270,000 for his second World Cup appearance. “I tried to shoot under par every day. To finish three under on a course like this, I’m very happy. I stuck to my game plan and focused on my game. You can’t get mad at yourself, the way you hit, or even the flies on the golf course, if you get mad, everything will be gone as the greens here, it’s not easy to make birdies or to make a move.”
With the magnificent Royal Melbourne showing its teeth all week with the swirling winds and lightning-quick greens posing a stern test, Kiradech was only one of 11 players who completed the week under par.
He finished seven strokes behind individual champion Jason Day of Australia, who wrapped up an emotional double by also teaming up with Adam Scott to lift the team title by a massive 10 shots from the United States team of Matt Kuchar and Kevin Streelman. Day won US$1.2 million for his individual triumph and shared US$600,000 with Scott.
Ishikawa and teammate Hideto Tanihira finished joint third in the team category with Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Oleson. Bjorn finished runner-up in the individual category, two behind Day with Scott a further shot back.
Kiradech birdied the second and sixth holes before dropping a double on eight. But he remained patient throughout the final day to shoot two more birdies on 11 and 15before dropping his last bogey on 16. He missed two birdie chances coming home.
K.J Choi of Korea K.J Choi of Korea
“I think I’ve improved a bit … I think I’ve improved a lot,” smiled Kiradech, who is ranked 67th in the world. “I don’t get nervous or excited any more coming down the last few holes. I had birdie chances the last two holes but I wasn’t nervous. I’ve gotten better on this than before. Previously, after being in the top-five, I wouldn’t be able to do my normal things. This week, I think I’ve become better playing with the top players in the world.
“Hopefully I’ll jump up in the world rankings. About 10 or 15 steps more to get into the world top-50. I’ll try to win one in the home event, the Thailand Golf Championship. I’m looking forward to playing in that. It’s important to get into top-50.”
With one hand on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit where he leads by nearly US$550,000, Kiradech is hoping to receive invitations to compete in PGA Tour events early next year to move closer to a 2015 card following his high finish in Malaysia several weeks ago.
“I’ll try to get some invites for next year in the U.S. I promise to anyone that if I can get some invites to the small or big events, I’ll come and play in their tournaments. I’m going to try my best to get my US Tour card. I think I need something like 110 FedExCup points more. I’m already like 90 per cent going to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit which will get me into the British Open and WGC Cadillac Championship next year. I’ll try hard to get a PGA Tour membership,” he said.
Kiradech’s sterling show also helped Thailand finished ninth in the team competition, where countryman Prayad Marksaeng ended the week in joint 50th place in the individual competition.
Korea’s K.J. Choi signed off with a 73 to finish tied 15th, lamenting a poor start in his final round which included two bogeys and a double bogey for an outward 38. He had three birdies and another bogey on his last hole.
“I just missed one shot, on the par three five. And then had a three putt on the last hole. My game was wonderful as I was hitting it this week. The winds were a bit tricky this week which made it difficult to score. You had to stay patient this week. I think we learned a few things this week,” said Choi, who was making his fifth World Cup appearance.
About ISPS
ISPS is a ‘General Incorporated Association’ based in Tokyo.  ISPS was founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world.  ISPS has fostered partnerships with golf governing bodies worldwide to help develop the game at every level and promote blind and disabled golf.  ISPS’s heritage in supporting blind and disabled golf and Dr Handa’s interest and philanthropic contribution in golf has formed the foundation of its wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport. Visit www.ispsgolf.com
About Melbourne
Known as one of the world’s most liveable cities, it is Melbourne’s sophisticated, yet edgy style combined with super-friendly people that gives the city its personality. With an impressive calendar of high profile international events, including The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and The Australian Open Tennis Championships, Melbourne is a leader in staging major events and providing a world-class welcome to international visitors.
With inner-city precincts ranging from the infamous city centre laneways to the beachy, bayside chic of the south and eclectic northside cool – Melbourne is a city of constant discovery where fashion, food, sport and entertainment, shopping, heritage, the arts and good living all come together to creative a lifestyle envied by many around the world. Food and wine lovers in particular will be in food heaven in gourmet Melbourne. Eating experiences range from award-winning celebrity chef restaurants to farmers markets selling locally sourced wines and fresh produce.
As one of the most compact regions in Australia, Victoria offers a huge variety of landscapes and experiences within a few hours of Melbourne. Whether its deserts, alpine ski resorts, mighty rivers, great lakes, wildlife, or the unparalleled spectacle and beauty of the world renowned Great Ocean Road, Victoria is all about quality experiences.
Many of the state’s regional attractions, including valleys of vineyards and international surf beaches, are less than a two-hour drive from Melbourne. But with more time to spare, the entire state offers a variety of scenic routes ideal for self-drive and personalised tours.
About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – The European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis.  As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.  The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999, while the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas joined the Federation as associate members in 2000 and 2007, respectively.
In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
About the International Golf Association
The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956.  IGA is governed by its seven-member Board of Directors.  Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman.  Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2013 return of the World Cup to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, one of the world’s greatest golf venues.
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,500 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com  Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ IMG_Worldwide and Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/IMG-Worldwide/
On-site media contacts:
Georgie Cox, World Cup, PR Manager, 0419334492, georgie@coxmarketing.com.au
Nicole O’Farrell, PGA of Australia, 0439 933490, nofarrell@pga.org.au
Chris Reimer, PGA TOUR, 0432 801 047, chrisreimer@pgatourhq.com
Paul Symes, European Tour, 0466 220 285, psymes@europeantour.com
Chuah Choo Chiang, Director, Communications, Asian Tour, +6012 217 2123, chuah@asiantour.com