Thongchai aims to be a Presidents' man

Tue 30 Jul 2013

Thongchai aims to be a Presidents' man

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Kuala Lumpur, July 30: Asian Tour hero Thongchai Jaidee hopes to play his way into the International Team for the Presidents Cup in October to complete a personal milestone of featuring in every major golf competition.
The Thai, who is the only man to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit titles, is currently one rung outside the automatic top-10 selection into captain Nick Price’s team to face the United States and has three more tournaments, starting with the final Major of the year, the PGA Championship next week, to qualify.
“I need to play well in my next three tournaments before the cut-off. If I do, then I can get into the top-10. I don’t mind the pressure of trying to improve my 11th position.
“If I can get in, it will be good for my country and Asia. It would also be something new in my career, I have played in every Major championship, all the World Golf Championships events and also the World Cup.
“However, I’ve not played in the Presidents Cup. It would be something special in my career,” said Thongchai, who has registered seven top-10s including a runner-up finish at the Volvo World Match Play Championship this season.
Currently ranked 58th in the world, Thongchai trails 10-placed Tim Clark of South Africa by a mere 0.05 points on the Official World Golf Ranking. The former Thai paratrooper will also play in the Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland before defending his title at the Wales Open at the end of August.
The cut-off for the top-10 selection is September 2 while the team captains will announce two wild card picks two days later.
“I spoke to International Captain Nick Price during the U.S. Open (in June). He was encouraging me to keep playing well and to qualify for the team. I have known him for a long time as we’ve played together on numerous occasions. It will be great to be in his team,” said the 43-year-old Thongchai, holder of 13 Asian Tour victories.
Thongchai is determined to earn automatic selection after missing out on a captain’s wild card four years ago after just finishing outside the top-10.
““There are many good players in contention for the International Team. If I play well, it will good enough. I will try in my next three tournaments. I was close several years ago but I wasn’t picked.”
Currently in his hometown of Lopburi, north of the capital city of Bangkok, Thongchai is recharging his batteries after playing in five tournaments during a six-week stretch which culminated with a tied 32nd finish at the British Open at Muirfield.
“I’m still working on getting stronger,” he said. “I’ve worked on my putting and also with my short game. I have not played at Oak Hill (site of the PGA Championship) before and being a Major, I expect to be tough.
“I know the golf course quite well at the Johnnie Walker Championship and enjoyed a top-10 there previously. And then, I’ll be looking forward to defending my title in Wales. That win was certainly one of my biggest of my career,” added Thongchai.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), 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. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf