Thongchai aims to be the Master at the Avantha Masters

Wed 13 Mar 2013

Thongchai aims to be the Master at the Avantha Masters

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Greater Noida, India, March 13: Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee believes his recent good form will end his 12-year title drought on Indian soil when the €1.8 million (approximately US$2.3 million) Avantha Masters gets underway at the Jaypee Greens Golf Course on Thursday.
A good finish at the Avantha Masters, where the winner will receive 20 world ranking points, will also bring the Thai ace closer to his goal of making his return to the Masters next month.
"I’ve never played much in India since winning the Indian Open in 2001. I’ve been traveling all over the world but now that I’m back, I’ll try my best to win," said the three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner.
Players ranked in the top-50 the week prior to the Masters Tournament will earn invitations and Thongchai believes he is ready to seal his place among the game’s elites again.
"It’s an important week for me as I want to break into the top-50 and get into the Masters. I’m very comfortable with my swing and if I can putt well, I believe I stand a good chance," added the Thai ace.
Thongchai suffered a premature end to his second Masters appearance in 2010 when he was forced to withdraw after ten holes due to an arm injury.
The 43-year-old, who has enjoyed victories all over the world including his maiden European triumph in Wales last year, however believes he is back to his best form.
“I suffered an arm injury the last time I played in the Masters but now I’m ready especially with my good start since January,” said Thongchai, who has begun his season well with three successive top-10s in South Africa and the Middle East
Meanwhile compatriot Arnond Vongvanij, a close friend and idol of Thongchai, is ready to face one of his biggest tests of the 2013 Asian Tour season.
“It’s a little different atmosphere compared to the regular Asian Tour event but in a good way. I’ve only played in a couple of co-sanctioned events and I’m looking forward to playing well and see how I match up against these European Tour guys,” said Arnond.
The Avantha Masters is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and is the most lucrative golf event in India, thanks to its €1.8million prize fund.
Arnond’s challenge will come  from a stellar field that consist of no fewer than 38 Asian Tour winners as well as a host of Ryder Cup stars from the European Tour.
They include Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, the most prolific British winner in European Tour history as well as Spain’s Ignacio Garrido, England’s David Howell, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Frenchman Thomas Levet and Welshman Philip Price.
Despite nursing a slight wrist injury, Arnond is hoping to find similar success abroad following his maiden triumph on home soil at the King’s Cup last year.
“My wrist is very sore and I’ve put some tape on to keep it stable and prevent injuries. I should be able to play just fine but I just got to keep in mind not to further injure it ,” said the 24-year-old.
“The first win is always the toughest and now that I’ve done so, the pressure is off and I can go on to get more wins,” smiled Arnond.
Ends.
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), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Canon (Official Imaging 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. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf