Thongchai has Major ambitions

Wed 06 Aug 2014

Thongchai has Major ambitions

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Singapore, August 6: Thongchai Jaidee will be on the hunt for Major glory at the PGA Championship which starts on Thursday, where he hopes to emulate Y.E. Yang’s historic victory five years ago.
The Thai star enters the year’s fourth and final Major at Valhalla Golf Club buoyant by the fact that he will script a personal milestone of playing in all the Major tournaments in a single year for the first time in his decorated career.
Thongchai, a three-time Asian Tour number one, is undoubtedly enjoying his best season so far after winning his second title on European soil at the Nordea Masters in June. He has five other top-10 results this season including two runner-up finishes which propelled him to a career’s best of 33rd placing on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
His best result in the PGA Championship was tied 36th in 2009 but considering his superb form this year, Thongchai will be aiming for the jugular.
“I still feel great about my game. I’ve been playing up to my expectations. I think Asian players have more opportunities to win Major championship as time goes by,” said Thongchai.
“But the competition in world golf is becoming harder. In order to be up there, you need to ensure you not only have to maintain your performance but also continuously improve every year,” he explained.
The 44-year-old Thongchai will be in the company of EurAsia Cup teammates Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, the reigning Asian Tour number one and Anirban Lahiri of India, the current Order of Merit leader at the PGA Championship.
Asian Tour honorary members Yang and K.J. Choi of Korea and Ernie Els of the South Africa will also feature in the Major event.
Kiradech and Lahiri, who both received invitations to play in the PGA Championship, are determined to put on a standout performance this week. The big-hitting Kiradech will make his second appearance in the tournament after finishing tied 25th last year.
“The PGA Championship is a fantastic event and I really enjoyed the occasion especially the atmosphere, the fans and the media attention last year. I’m really thankful to the PGA of America for this invitation as it offers me to chance to do well and represent Asia again,” said Kiradech.
“I love playing in US as the course conditions there really suit my game. I also like the grass type there. It’s tough but I’ve learnt how to play on it. I always feel that I have a good chance each time I play in the States,” added the Thai.
Without missing a single cut and winning one title in six appearances on the Asian Tour in 2014, Lahiri broke inside the top-100 on the Official World Golf Ranking where he is currently in 87th position. A solid result this week will push the young Indian closer to his goal of breaking into the top-50 in the world.
“The course is a Jack Nicklaus course so it is like the courses we are used to playing in Asia but obviously the grasses are totally difficult so it is something which I will need to adjust to.
“I’m super excited and really looking forward to doing well. I have just recovered (from chicken pox) and I’m slowly getting back to practice. Hopefully I can put in a memorable performance at Valhalla,” said Lahiri.
Ends.
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.