"Thongchai, Kiradech qualify for Accenture Match Play"

Tue 11 Feb 2014

"Thongchai, Kiradech qualify for Accenture Match Play"

  • SHARE
Kuala Lumpur, February 11: EurAsia Cup Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee and countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat have qualified for the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona from February 19-23.
World number 67 Kiradech, the newly-crowned Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, looks to have squeezed into the 64-man elite field right on the number as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott have all indicated they may not compete in the Match Play.
Thongchai, currently ranked 51st in the world, said the US$9 million tournament would be good preparation for him and Kiradech for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM, which pits Asia against Europe at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 27-29.
“I’m looking forward to play in the Match Play in the US. It will be good preparation for the EurAsia Cup,” said Thongchai.
Thongchai qualified for the quarter-finals in the 2010 edition, losing in a closely fought match to eventual champion Ian Poulter.
The Thai veteran, the only man to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns, also finished runner-up at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria last year, losing in the final to Europe’s Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell, who will feature in Team Europe at the EurAsia Cup.
Kiradech will be hoping to mount a strong challenge at the Accenture Match Play to boost his world ranking. The 24-year-old hopes to qualify for the Masters Tournament in April, but needs to get into the world’s top-50 in the week prior to the Masters.
For the EurAsia Cup, Team Asia will be represented by Thongchai, Kiradech, Anirban Lahiri of India, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Kim Hyung-sung of Korea, Japan’s Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara. Thongchai has picked Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung, the 2013 Asian Development Tour Order of Merit champion, as one of his captain’s picks and will name his last pick soon to complete his 10-man side.
Miguel Angel Jimenez will spearhead Team Europe as the playing captain. Apart from McDowell, the other members of the team include Victor Dubuisson of France, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain, Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, Dutchman Joost Luiten and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher. Jimenez will name his two captain’s picks in the next few weeks.