Hua Hin, Thailand: Upcoming Thai Namchoak Tantipokakul hopes to live up to his nickname “lucky” when he fights for his Asian Tour card at the season-finale Black Mountain Masters starting on Thursday.
The 23-year-old, one of many aspiring Thais, has caught the attention of his peers with a solid season which has left him in position to finish in the top-61 of the Order of Merit for full playing rights in 2011.
He enters the US$600,000 showpiece at the award-winning Black Mountain Golf Club in 65th position and knows that his fate lies in his own hands.
“I’m trying to prepare myself to play well for this week. I’m not thinking about the pressure of trying to finish well to earn my Tour card as if there is pressure, there is tendency of not being able to play well,” said the burly Namchoak.
“I will try my best. It’s a challenging golf course with the undulation changes and tricky greens. But I’m happy with my form right now and I’m just trying to keep to my usual standards.”
Three solid results in his last three tournaments have given him hope of breaking into the Asian Tour’s top echelon and he is feeling excited.
“I’ve been a professional for five years and it’s the first time that I’ve got a real chance to break into the top-61 of the Order of Merit which is very exciting. I’ve played regularly alongside the top players on the Asian Tour this year and it’s helped my game to improve,” he said.
“With one week to go, I’ll be playing aggressively to try to finish well this week.”
A few years after fighting for his life, Korea’s Young Nam will looking for a lifeline in his career. Currently ranked 71st on the Merit, Young needs nothing less than a top-five to break into the top-61.
“You just have to go out there and play your best. If it doesn’t work out, what can you do?” said Young.
“I’ve just got to play well this week. I’m sure there will be pressure out there, especially knowing that I have to finish top five or top six to keep my card. I’m trying to keep my goals high this week.
“I’m going to try to be as aggressive as I can. You can’t be tentative, you just have to go for it and post a score. You’ve got to take the gamble and go for it. If you hit it well, you’ll get birdies. The course is in such great shape. It blows out here sometimes but it’s a birdieable golf course.”
Photo - Asian Tour
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com