Kuala Lumpur: Thai strongman Thongchai Jaidee has set himself some very high goals for 2011 which include winning a record fourth Asian Tour Order of Merit triumph and a first victory on European soil.
The 41-year-old is not planning to ease his foot on the pedal after a mixed season in 2010 in which he notched a record 13thvictory in Asia in between of poor spells of putting.
“I was happy with 2010. There were some ups and downs and I had some magnificent results in the first half of the year but slowed down a bit in the second half. I have enjoyed my year on Tour very much and I hope to bring my experience into the new year and once again to vie for the Asian Tour Order of Merit title and aim to come in top 10 in the Race to Dubai,” said Thongchai, whose merit successes were achieved in 2001, 2004 and 2009.
“I am looking to win a few tournaments in Europe this year. It would be rather challenging but I am ready for it. I have come close in a few events, including the Dubai World Championship (at the end of last year).
“Those experiences gave me more confidence. I’m also looking forward to moving up into top-50 in the World Ranking once again,” added the Thai, who is presently ranked 68th in the world.
Thongchai believes that newly-crowned Asian Tour number one Noh Seung-yul of Korea will have a big year ahead after becoming the region’s youngest ever Order of Merit champion.
He also picked big-hitting countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat as a player to look out for in 2011.
“Noh has proven his skills and potential. He is a very hardworking youngster and I am sure he will follow in the footsteps of Y.E. Yang and possibly win a Major title very soon,” predicted Thongchai.
“Kiradech is also a growing young talent and with his massive distances and achievements in 2010, I am looking forward to see him win some tournaments in 2011.
“Y.E’s victory in the PGA Championship in 2009 gave a major boost to golfers in Asia. Teenage golfers like Noh have proven themselves and Asian golfers are actually making a great impact in world golf. I am sure there will be more promising Asian golfers topping the leaderboards this year and possibly in the Majors too.”
The Thai intends to keep up his winning ways as well but knows that he must start putting more consistently.
“I hope to improve my putting as it is crucial to scoring low. It was not very steady last year and I have been working very hard lately to get myself prepared. I have also been working hard in the gym, hoping to hit the ball a bit longer too,” he said.
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com