Kiradech honoured to be among legends

Wed 17 Jul 2013

Kiradech honoured to be among legends

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Gullane, Scotland, July 17: Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat is honoured to write a small slice of history at The Open Championship where three Thais will be competing in the year’s third Major for the first time.
Kiradech will be joined at Muirfield with Thaworn Wiratchant and Thongchai Jaidee, who have won a combined total of five Order of Merits titles.
Playing in his first ever Major tournament, the big-hitting Kiradech, known as the John Daly of Asia for his grip-it and rip-it style of play, hopes to overcome his nervousness when he steps up to the first tee alongside Thomas Aiken of South Africa and Bud Cauley of the United States.
“I’m feeling a little bit nervous. This is my biggest event and it is not very often you get surrounded by some of the biggest names in golf! The field here is great,” said Kiradech, who won the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, in March.
“It is nice to be in my first Major with two other great Thai players. Thongchai has given me a lot of advice on how to play in the wind. He gave me an idea on how to play here which is good.
“You feel more comfortable when you have two Thais in the field. You get to play in practice rounds together and it just gives you a sense of comfort. I can’t say that I will win but I want to play my best game, focus on my shots and play against the golf course,” he added.
Kiradech, ranked 86th on the Official World Golf Rankings, also picked up a few tips on the unpredictable Scottish weather at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open where he finished tied 38th on Sunday.
“I played well last week but I was caught off guard by the weather. It was a learning curve for me and I’m a bit more prepared for this week. You have to play with the wind and control your ball,” said the 23-year-old.
“It is also important to focus around the greens. If I can do that, then I’ll have a good chance to play in the weekend. I thought it would be raining and be very cold but at this point, it is quite hot! Surprisingly the weather is almost the same like Asia. Hopefully the weather will stay this way,” added Kiradech.
Thongchai, ranked 61st on the Official World Golf Rankings, tipped Kiradech to shine among the elite field this week which includes defending champion and Asian Tour International Ambassador Ernie Els and world number one Tiger Woods.
“Kiradech has the experience and he is a good player. He will be the next superstar on the Asian Tour. He needs to learn how to play in different types of weather. He will do well. I practised with him yesterday and he hit it very well,” said the 13-time Asian Tour winner.
“Hopefully he stays strong mentally. That’s very important because you can’t miss right or left on this course. You need to have a good game plan here,” added Thongchai.
Ends.
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.