Thaworn Eyes Appearence at Masters Tournament

Mon 07 Jan 2013

Thaworn Eyes Appearence at Masters Tournament

Kuala Lumpur, January 7: Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchant has set himself a New Year’s resolution where he hopes to qualify for the prestigious Masters Tournament in April by breaking into the world’s top-50.

After a stellar season which saw him lift three titles, become the oldest Order of Merit champion and rising to a career high 69th on the world rankings, the 46-year-old plans to add another feather in the cap with an appearance at the Augusta National Golf Club for the year’s opening Major.

“My goal is to try to get into the world’s top-50 in March. It will be good for me to try to qualify for the Masters. It is a tournament which I would like to play in,” said Thaworn.

The decorated veteran star, who holds a record 15 Asian Tour victories, said he was proud of his achievements last season. However, he is not setting himself any lofty goals to repeat his winning run.

“Golf has a cycle. I don’t know how 2013 will be. If I’m fit enough, I might be successful again but we’ll just have to wait and see.

“Every week, when I make the cut, I am happy. I’m proud that I can still play against the good players on Tour,” he said.

Amongst the perks of being the Asian number one will include a second appearance at the British Open and the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Thaworn played in all four rounds at the Open in 2006 and was already looking forward to a trip to Muirfield in July.

“Playing in the British Open for the second time, and the Cadillac Championship, I’m looking forward to it again. Being in the Majors is important. It is good for my reputation,” said the Thai.

Thaworn was named the Players’ Player of The Year and also won the Special Achievement Award and Birdie Leader Award. While he cannot beat the young guns when it comes to driving the ball to enormous distances, he is rated as the best short-game player in the business.

He attributed his short-game wizardry to countless hours of practice and good imagination. “I have good imagination which helps in my short game. It is very important. The shot, the stroke, the swing are all related to the imagination. I can always see the shot that I want to hit around the greens,” he said.

“If my feeling no good, I will keep going in my short game practice. It doesn’t matter for how many hours. I have spent half a day just practising on my short game alone. If I lose my feel, I’ll just keep going until I get it back. It’s all down to practice,” he said.

Thaworn added that he would never tweak his unorthodox golf swing which has been much photographed and talked about by his peers throughout his chequered career.

“When I was an amateur, I developed my own golf swing. But in my third year as a pro, I was at the driving range and one guy came up and told me ‘Why your bad swing’ and asked me to change. I decided to change but I then kept hitting hooks or shanks,” recalled Thaworn.

“Then one Thai coach came up to me and said ‘Why did you change your swing? This swing makes you money and you are a champion. You hit 100 balls and 97 or 98 are the same. So why change?’ He made sense and I went back to my old swing.

“It’s just keeping it to the same thing. I don’t care about the swing now. I’m just interested in the scores,” added Thaworn, whose scoring average was 70.19 last season where he was 123-under-par.

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), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.