Kiradech prepares for life after OOM reign

Wed 24 Dec 2014

Kiradech prepares for life after OOM reign

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Kuala Lumpur, December 24: Kiradech Aphibarnrat believes his reign as Asian Tour number one this year will give him the extra edge in the 2015 season.
After winning the Order of Merit crown in 2013 courtesy of his victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open, Kiradech struggled to hit top this year where he changed equipment and had to cope with the loss of long-time coach Natpasit Chokthanasart, nicknamed Pro Jew.
“I’m very proud with what I achieved so far. It is really great to be in this position. Everything affects your golf game. I changed equipment earlier this year and worked with a new coach after losing my old coach. Golf is still going on but it was not so good. But I’m a touring professional so I needed some time to adapt,” said Kiradech.
He concedes that he struggled to handle the pressure after joining an illustrious list of Asian Tour number ones including Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal.
“I did feel a bit of pressure because I’m only 25 and everyone noticed me more, especially the media and golf fans. You have to really play when you are Asia’s number one. The pressure did affect my game a bit but I managed it well in the later stages of the year,” Kiradech explained.
Known for his go-for-broke style of play, Kiradech slowly turned his fortunes around when he finished runner-up at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup Golf, an event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour in September.
His confidence started growing and he eventually ended the year on a high note when he claimed four straight top-10 results in his remaining events in 2014 to finish in eighth position on the Order of Merit.
“It was an okay season. I didn’t play well at the start of the year but I finished quite nicely in the last three months. It is a good effort to finish inside the top-10 on the Order of Merit after winning it last year,” said Kiradech.
“Towards the end of the year, my form was 99% back. I was striking the ball good again and was moving in the right direction. I want to win as many tournaments as I can. Maybe I can win one tournament in Europe,” he added.
Kiradech was among 14 Thai players, including an immensely talented Thanyakon Khrongpha, to finish inside the top-60 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. Prom Meesawat ranked as the highest Thai in third position while Thaworn finished seventh.
“I’m happy to be leading the new generation of Thai golfers. Thongchai and Thaworn are getting older and they have always been flying the Thai flag. I will try my best to represent my country and Asia on the international stage,” said Kiradech.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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.