Prom itching for Queen's Cup

Tue 03 Jun 2014

Prom itching for Queen's Cup

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Samui, Thailand, June 3: Thailand’s Prom Meesawat hopes a recent back injury will not scupper his hopes of challenging for a first Asian Tour victory in eight years at the Queen’s Cup which begins on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Prom was sidelined for three weeks after pulling a back muscle but the enforced break have only whetted his appetite for home glory in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event at the challenging Santiburi Samui Country Club.
Prom, currently 16th on the Order of Merit, is amongst the leading stars from the local contingent who will be keen to keep the Queen’s Cup at home following four wins by Thai players in five editions.
India’s Anirban Lahiri, currently top of the Merit list, headlines the popular tournament which has attracted one of its best ever fields with eight of the current top-10 players from the Asian Tour’s rankings gathered on the holiday isle of Samui.
“I pulled a back muscle and couldn’t play for three weeks. I only started hitting balls again three days ago. The back is still a bit tight, and I can’t make a full turn. However, I feel really itchy to get back out there to play again. It’s been a long break by my standard,” said Prom, who has finished top-10 on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit in the past two years.
The burly Thai, nicknamed the “Big Dolphin” as he hails from the coastal town of Hua Hin, has two previous top-five finishes at Santiburi Samui but nothing would give him greater pleasure than getting his hands on the Queen’s Cup, which is sponsored by Bangkok Airways and the Sports Authority of Thailand.
Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand
“You can see that Thai players have always played well in the Queen’s Cup, and also in our King’s Cup. We’ve had two Thais winning the last two King’s Cup while in the Queen’s Cup, four have been won by Thai players too.
“Hopefully this time around, another Thai player will win here. It would be good if I am the one holding the trophy on Sunday,” smiled Prom.
“I love Samui and it’s a great tourist destination. You can relax when you’re away from the course but the golf course itself is a tough one. It’s a tough walk and tough to play on.”
With his wife expecting twins in November, Prom joked that he needed to get back onto the winning trail to fend for his expanding family. “We are both very excited about the impending arrival of our twin babies. I have to start making more money and play good to support the family!,” said Prom, whose lone victory in Asia remains the 2006 SK Telecom Open in Korea.
Countryman Arnond Vongvanij, currently 10th on the rankings thanks to a runner-up finish at the recent ICTSI Philippine Open, hopes to contend again at the Queen’s Cup after finishing second behind Prayad Marksaeng last season. Prayad is not defending his title following the passing of his wife last week.
“I feel like I’m getting more and more experienced now and feel that I’m more patient on the golf course which is the key out here. You’re going to miss some greens as it’s windy and the elevation changes a lot. I’ll need the putter and short game to work well,” said Arnond, who won the King’s Cup on the Asian Tour in 2012.
“Anytime you can win a trophy from the King or Queen, it’s going to be very special. I’ve won the King’s Cup so it’ll be a good collection to have the Queens’ Cup as well.”
C J INVITATIONAN 2012Chawalit Plaphol, winner here in 2011, has endured an up-and-down season thus far, with a second place outing at the Solaire Open in the Philippines being his best of the year. But with two victories achieved at Santiburi Samui, the sweet-swinging Thai hopes to rise to the occasion once more.
“I’ve struggled with my iron play and I’ve been making adjustments to the lie and loft angles of the clubs,” said the four-time Asian Tour winner. “I have really good memories in Samui. It’s always nice to come back.”
Another former champion Chinnarat Phadungsil, the youngest ever winner on Tour when he won in 2006 at the age of 15, is also upbeat of his chances at the Queen’s Cup, which he triumphed in 2009 and has three other top-10s.
“Whenever I come back to Samui, I feel I can compete. . I can still remember everything that happened that week (when he won). This feels like home for me. I know the course well and I love the course, maybe the course loves me too as I always play well here,” he said.
“This week, my plan will be to hit more fairways. I’ll use more of the rescue club and three wood from off the tee to get into good position.”
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) 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.