Motivated Thongchai ready to roar

Wed 16 Apr 2014

Motivated Thongchai ready to roar

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Kuala Lumpur, April 16: A confident Thongchai Jaidee will take aim at winning the US$2.75 million Maybank Malaysian Open for the third time after scripting a personal milestone at the Masters Tournament last week.
Thongchai, a three-time Asian Tour number one, completed his ‘career grand slam’ of making the cut in all the Major championships after playing in all four rounds in the year’s first Major for the first time in three attempts.
His result at the Masters Tournament came two weeks after leading Team Asia’s magnificent comeback to draw against Team Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia.
He hopes to continue the momentum when he aims for a third Maybank Malaysian Open title and his 14th Asian Tour victory at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
He will face strong challenges from former world number one Lee Westwood of England, Major champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium and reigning Asian Tour number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand.
“I think the more you play at Augusta National, the better you get. I’m very happy with my performance. My key goal was to make the cut because it was the only Major where I didn’t make the halfway cut before,” said Thongchai.
“After you play well in a Major tournament, you always get more confidence. I’m definitely happy with how I played and I think that I’ll continue to carry on my form. I travelled all the way from the United States but I don’t feel any jet lag. I slept a lot on the plane and I feel great now,” he smiled.
Playing in Malaysia has always brought out the best in Thongchai, whose career has been on the upswing since he won back-to-back Malaysian Open titles in 2004 and 2005. He was also runner-up at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in 2006.
“I’ve always said that I like playing in Malaysia. We were here three weeks ago and did very well in the EurAsia Cup. It is nice to return to the country. The Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club looks better than last year. I think anyone can win here this week so you have to go out and play your best,” said the 45-year-old.
Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, a winner on the Asian Tour, will give an extra push in his attempt to win the Maybank Malaysian Open for his wife, who is pregnant with twins.
“We’ve been planning to have a baby since last year. I’ve tried to keep it quiet but it’s now eight weeks and we’re lucky that we’re expecting twins. I’m trying to take care of my wife and telling her to slow down on everything in the first three months of the pregnancy. It’s a very special time for me. Of course I have to work harder now! With twins, I’ve got to earn double ... I’ve got to work very hard and play in tournaments every week,” said Prom.
Watching his good friend Kiradech win the Maybank Malaysian Open last year has provided Prom with the added motivation to shoot for his second Asian Tour victory since 2006.
“Every time I see a Thai player winning, I feel very proud. We are showing that we have good golfers despite our country being small. It’s very special when Thais win a tournament, especially so when Kiradech Aphibarnrat won the Maybank Malaysian Open last year.
“I think this week, it’s a good chance for another Thai player. Prayad Marksaeng is in good form and Thongchai Jaidee made the cut in the Masters and is in good form. Kiradech is struggling a bit but he always plays good on this course. I’m going to try my best to be at the top of the leaderboard,” said Prom.
India’s Arjun Atwal, a two-time Malaysian Open winner, hopes to get back into the thick of things after going through rehab in the last few months to get his back and left knee stronger. He will renew his partnership with caddy Rosli, who was on his bag when he won the Malaysian Open in 2008.
“I don’t know how the game will be as I haven’t played competitively since last year’s Indian Open. It’s a little rusty but at least the body doesn’t feel bad unlike last year where I was struggling,” said Atwal, the 2003 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner.
I’m using the same Malaysian caddie Rosli on the bag this week. He’s the same, he doesn’t care about anything and just goes out to carry the bag which is a good thing.
“The past few months, I’ve been on rehab, trying to get stronger with my back and left knee. I’m 41 now but it’s getting better. I can practice a little bit more, which I couldn’t do at all last year.”
Ends.
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,200 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR & People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States of America.  The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 47,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide. (www.maybank.com)
About the Malaysian Golf Association
The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) is the sole governing body of golf in Malaysia that was founded in 1929 by representatives of golf clubs to promote the sport while preserving its traditions and integrity. The non-government organization is run by passionate volunteers who have a love for the game of golf, with the help of a team of management staff. The association’s portfolios have increased over the years ranging from conducting 14 state amateur opens, national amateur open, national amateur close, Malaysian Open to processing handicaps through its National Handicap System to promoting grassroots programs and training of athletes to represent Malaysia in international events.
The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour’s innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2013, will feature a minimum of 45 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
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), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) 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.
About Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) is a member of Sime Darby Property Bhd and a propriety Club wholly-owned and operated by KLGCC Berhad. The club has won numerous accolades from both local and foreign golfing fraternity, the latest being voted the ‘Best Course in Malaysia’ for the second time in a row for its championship West Course at the 2013 Asian Golf Monthly Awards, the second runner up for the Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific and nominated as Top 10 Best in Asia Pacific for Best Clubhouse and Best Pro-Shop categories. At the same time, KLGCC was voted Best Golf Experience for the Best of Malaysia Awards 2013 Travel Awards by The Expatriate Lifestyle Magazine readers. Today, KLGCC is a landmark as the most luxurious golf resort development in Malaysia and KLGCC has in recent years hosted numerous international championships such as the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
About GlobalOne
GlobalOne (Emerald Evolution Holdings Sdn Bhd) is an executive lifestyle sports promoter and we create sports event ownerships. We specialise in providing the full spectrum in sponsorship event management and have an excellent track record in planning and delivering on PGA European Tour golf events for Malaysia (Maybank Malaysian Open), Singapore (Singapore Masters) and Indonesia (Indonesia Open) since 1999. We have strong relations with sports governing bodies, the media and commercial sponsors and technical partners to deliver on the bottom line. We assist all our clients to create super-strategic, high-return, best practice sponsorship to provide a strong, unified vision, across departments and stakeholders, of the broad range of marketing and business objectives that can be achieved through this sponsorship. We also form and maintain strong relationship with players managers to source the best players. GlobalOne currently stages a highly successful and prestigious tournament in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour providing the event with Official World Ranking status. Our long term partners include Emirates (Official Airline), Carlsberg (Official Beer & Stout), Ricoh (Official Office Equipment),  Astro (Official Satellite TV), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).