Rising Star Arnond Relishes Major Challenge

Wed 05 Dec 2012

Rising Star Arnond Relishes Major Challenge

Chonburi, Thailand, December 5: Thai rising star Arnond Vongvanij faces his next big challenge when he tees off against an elite field including defending champion Lee Westwood at the Thailand Golf Championship starting Thursday.

The pint-sized Arnond, who won the King’s Cup on home soil last week, where he defeated current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Thaworn Wiratchant and Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat, hopes to cause a major upset this week against a world-class field at the US$1 milllion Asian Tour event.

“Obviously, the win boosted the confidence a bit and letting me know that I can do it. I was on the big stage with Mardan (Mamat) and Thaworn (Wiratchant) being there. This week is completely new for me …. my first big tournament with a lot of Major winners. I’m really excited to seeing how I hold up against them and see what I need to improve,” said Arnond.

The 23-year-old, known as ‘Bank’ as he was born the night after his mother took her final Masters degree examination in financial banking, likened his season to a roller-coaster ride and will begin his campaign with Masters champion Bubba Watson and Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa.

“It’s been a roller-coaster ride actually. Going into Qschool, I didn’t have much expectations. I kept playing after Qschool. Had two top 10s in my first couple of events which I was happy about that. I was clueless about that but after playing well and not thinking about it, all of the sudden, I was thinking about it.

“Order of Merit comes into play, what would happen if I missed the cut and stuff like that which I shouldn’t be thinking about. I started to learn from it and began to not worry about it and just focused on playing golf. It started to show recently and I started doing better,” said Arnond.

After a successful season, which he hopes to make it sweeter with a win this week, Arnond is planning to take his game to an even higher level on the Asian Tour.

“I’ll go slow. Let’s take it the next couple of years first. I’ve got a two year exemption and will play in the big co-sanctioned events and hope to do what Prom did this year which earned his European Tour card back door. Within the next few years I want to work into the European Tour. I grew up in the US and hopefully I can play on the PGA Tour.

“Right now, I want to focus on this tournament and the Asian Tour. I can still learn a lot from the Asian Tour in the next couple of years which will probably benefit me in the long run.”