Kiradech on a triple mission in US

Tue 28 Jan 2014

Kiradech on a triple mission in US

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January 28: Asian Tour number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat will be on a triple mission when he tees up in this week’s Phoenix Open followed by the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in the United States.
The Thai star hopes to garner enough FedEx Cup points to secure a PGA Tour card and also Official World Golf Ranking points to boost his hopes of qualifying for the WGC-Accenture Match Play next month and the Masters Tournament in April.
Currently ranked 64th in the world, Kiradech needs to stay or improve on his current number on the Monday after the Pebble Beach tournament to qualify for the 64-man field at the Match Play at Dove Mountain, Arizona from February 19 to 23.
He also needs to break into the top-50 in the world the week prior to the Masters Tournament to qualify for the year’s first Major at Augusta National. Following his impressive tied third finish at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia last October, Kiradech is also close to earning a PGA Tour card.
The 24-year-old is hoping he can reproduce his magical 2013 form which saw him win the Maybank Malaysian Open and post five other top-fives on the Asian Tour.
“I hit the ball quite well last year and my putting was good. My short game is generally improving, which explains my good results last year. My mental game is getting stronger as well. It’s my fifth year on the Asian Tour and I know all these didn’t come easily. I learned a lot from the top players as well, especially from the Thai veterans,” said Kiradech.
“It was a very successful season for me and I am very pleased with my performances. Everything went well for me throughout the year.”
Kiradech is looking forward to playing regularly on the big stage to show what he was capable of achieving. He missed the cut at the British Open last year and later finished a creditable tied 25th at the PGA Championship.
“When I missed the cut at The Open Championship, I was feeling down for a couple of months after that. I got kind of lost in my mental game. However, I managed to get back on my feet at the PGA Championship and my game sort of recovered from there,” he said.
He spent time honing his short game during the off-season and hopes it will sharpen his wedge play when he tees up in Phoenix. Subsequently, he will also head to Pebble Beach for one of the iconic events on the PGA Tour.