Oak Maedow Phuket BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Kiradech, Jazz fired up for Players Championship

Kiradech, Jazz fired up for Players Championship

GOLF: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat loves almost everything about the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Golf
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 11 March 2020, 12:00PM


Kiradech Aphibarnrat, left, and Jazz Janewattananond pose during a practice round at TPC Sawgrass. Photo: PR

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, left, and Jazz Janewattananond pose during a practice round at TPC Sawgrass. Photo: PR

Just don’t mention the dreaded par-3, 17th hole.

In three previous starts at the Players Championship, Kiradech has endured painful memories with two double bogeys and one quadruple bogey blighting his challenge in the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament.

In eight visits to the signature hole, which plays 137 yards onto an island green surrounded by water, the burly Thai is six-over-par.

This week, he returns to the US$15 million (472 million baht) showpiece determined to tame the infamous hole and arrest a decline in form which has seen him make just two cuts from six starts this season.

“It’s always great to be back at TPC Sawgrass for the Players,” said Kiradech.

“It’s the best tournament and as you know, we call it the fifth major and we’re just looking forward to it. I like the course. I like the environment where there are a lot of spectators and there are Thai fans too which is nice.

“The field is strong, everyone pays attention and everyone wants to have the title under their belt. It’s the same for me. If you win the Players, you know you can win a major. TPC Sawgrass is a fantastic test. I really like it.”

He reckons the difficulty at 17 is created by the swirly winds and stadium-like setting where thousands of fans gather annually at the most popular spot at TPC Sawgrass.

“You have a stadium setting around the green which blocks the wind a bit. You can’t judge the wind from the tee box,” said Kiradech.

“If it’s under normal conditions I would say it’s probably the easiest par-3 hole. But when nerves come into play too and the winds pick up, it’s such a difficult hole. It has hurt me a lot over the past few years.”

Kiradech, 30, finished T18 in the 2018 edition, thanks to a closing 67 which was preceded by three straight 71s. It could have been a much higher finish if he had not put two balls into the water on 17, leading to a quadruple seven.

He will have good company this week as countryman and reigning Asian Tour No.1 Jazz Janewattananond is in the elite field, thanks to being in the top-50 of the world rankings.

“It’s nice to see more than one Thai player in the field here. One is great but two is fantastic,” said Kiradech, who played a practice round with Jazz on Monday (Mar 9).

After missing the cut last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Jazz hopes to bounce back with a strong debut appearance at the Players Championship.

“Everyone says it’s the fifth major,” said Jazz.

“It’s a big event. It’s a tournament I’ve always wanted to play and see how hard the course is and how the players handle it. I’m excited to play the 17th hole … hopefully I don’t put any balls in the water. Just pray to God that I’m on the green. I know it’s just a wedge [shot] but a lot of people have messed up there. Hopefully I don’t.”

While his dream is to eventually join Kiradech on the PGA Tour, the 24-year-old Jazz knows he needs to make improvements to compete at the highest level consistently.

He featured in the WGC-Mexico Championship last month, finishing T53, and will make his debut in the WGC-Match Play later this month.

“It’s been a great experience being here, seeing this tournament in real life. Last week was a bit shaky … it was a tough golf course. I just need to take this as a new week and learn how to play the golf course better,” Jazz said.

“The set-ups are hard and you can’t go for everything. You have to pace yourself and it was the same in Mexico. Just need to pace myself better this week. I’ve learned a lot and I’m trying to get used to these type of tournaments more.”

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Governor invites envoys to inspect Phuket 

But like two months ago the westerners were all dirty and had brought the covid19 to thailand......(Read More)


Pubs, soapy massages eyed for opening

You can show Bangla in the photo but even if they lift the ban doubt many there will open until bord...(Read More)


Governor invites envoys to inspect Phuket 

The consuls visiting Phuket at arrival 14 days quarantine? Start opening the airport before invitin...(Read More)


TAT Phuket launches push to boost domestic tourism

Installation of 1 toilet and 1 shower at Surin Beach would be a 100% improvement. ...(Read More)


Governor invites envoys to inspect Phuket 

the general consensus was that tourists still have confidence and will want to travel to Phuket agai...(Read More)


Thai hotels on the chopping block

They better not sell any to the Chinese , they might burn down by accident of course....(Read More)


Governor invites envoys to inspect Phuket 

Is the clown going to bus them in ? Sure they will be impressed . ...(Read More)


Governor invites envoys to inspect Phuket 

... Oh yes, seeing rows of hungry thai lining up for free food handing outs by private samaritan For...(Read More)


Governor invites envoys to inspect Phuket 

What are the 'beautiful attractions' on Phuket? The horrible Zoo, the closed Phrom Thep Cape...(Read More)


Governor invites envoys to inspect Phuket 

Keeping the Phuket beaches closed is not a mark of confidence that Phuket is ready to receive visito...(Read More)