Prayad aims to maintain winning habit

Mon 24 Feb 2014

Prayad aims to maintain winning habit

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New Delhi, February 24: Thai veteran star Prayad Marksaeng hopes to start the new 2014 Asian Tour season with a victory at the SAIL-SBI Open which begins on Wednesday.
The 47-year-old ended his 2013 campaign on a stylish note when he secured a popular home triumph at the King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin last month which was also his eighth career victory on the region’s premier Tour.
A stellar line-up will assemble at the venerable Delhi Golf Club this week which includes EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM Team Asia members Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh and title holder Anirban Lahiri of India, two-time Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and 10 other players who finished inside the top-20 of last season’s Order of Merit.
After his King’s Cup success, Prayad claimed another tournament win in Thailand which makes the smooth-swinging Thai one of the favourites to dethrone Lahiri at the SAIL-SBI Open, which is celebrating its seventh edition.
“I’m in form right now,” declared Prayad.
“It is good that I can play the SAIL-SBI Open this year as it is the first tournament on the Asian Tour. After winning the King's Cup, I won again at the Winter Tour Korean Tournament in Thailand. I have made some good adjustments with my new Srixon clubs and I am ready for this week,” he added.
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
While Prayad acknowledges the threat from the strength of the field this week, the Thai reckons the ultra-demanding Delhi Golf Club will pose his biggest challenge.
“It’s not very often now that I get to play at Delhi Golf Club. It is a big challenge and it is not really suited with my strength as I will not be able to use the driver much,” said Prayad.
“The long irons will be very important and I think we’ll need to get used to the firm greens. I will adjust my game to fit the golf course.”
After turning 48 last month, Prayad is proving that he can still compete at the highest level. He also won the Queen’s Cup on the Asian Tour last season to finish seventh on the Order of Merit. He also became only the sixth player to surpass US$3 million in career earnings with his outstanding 2013 campaign.
However, he is starting to lament of achy joints because of his advanced years but a combination of stretching and regular visits to the hot spring especially when he is in Japan have kept Prayad in the best possible physical shape.
“I’m starting to have problems with my joints but I have a stretching programme and I also work more in the swimming pool. I need power to keep my game and my drive consistent. I have to be disciplined and I also eat well to stay fit,” he said.
He has set himself a goal to return into the world’s top-100 in the 2014 season which will see him splitting his time once again between the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
“The Asian Tour is my home tour still and I will play in Japan too. My aim this year is to get back into the top-100 in the world and that would mean winning a couple of events in Asia and Japan,” said Prayad, who was ranked once in the world’s top-50 and is currently 131st.
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.