Thai whiz kid ready for Singapore challenge

GOLF: 14-year-old Thai golf phenomenon Ratchanon Chantananuwat will add another arrow to his quiver this month when he takes part in both the Singapore International and the SMBC Singapore Open to score the first when he participates in professional events outside his country.

Ready for the challenge: Ratchanon Chantananuwat from Thailand. Photo: Paul Lakatos / Asian Tour

The amateur star made a huge impression on both the Asian Tour and the All Thailand Golf Tour last year and was invited to play in both tournaments, with the first start next week on the Tampines course at Tanah. Merah Country Club from January 13 to 16. , followed by the Singapore National Open at Sentosa Golf Club from January 20 to 23.

“I’m very excited,” said Ratchanon, nicknamed “TK” – which are the initials of his father and mother’s first names.

“I have to be a little bit honest and certainly nervous too. But I’m just going to have as much fun as possible. It’s a new experience for me.

There were few signs of nervousness last year as the junior star regularly made headlines.

In the Asian Tour Phuket Series in November and December the two events that marked the restart of the Asian Tour after a 20-month hiatus caused by COVID-19 it eclipsed the Blue Canyon Championship field by finishing with a 65 to the end. 12 cents and tie 15e before finishing the joint 30e at the Laguna Phuket Championship.

Equally impressive, Ratchanon, who attends Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok, also came close to winning on the All Thailand Golf Tour: he finished second at the Singha Laguna Phuket Open, third at the Singha Thailand Masters and fifth at the Singha All Thailand. Championship.

He said: “I’m really happy with how 2021 has gone. Yes I could have won but I’m happy with how I managed to be in contention and in contention in the first place! I think I have done well enough for past tournaments. I hit further and my ball hits a little better. Overall I’ve improved a bit in every component as a player so I’m happy with how I played last year.

The rising star is grateful for the support he has received from many great Thai players.

“I’m a really lucky kid to have the experience of playing with a lot of good players like Prom Meesawat and Thongchai Jaidee,” he adds.

“The advice I got from most of them is to have fun there. I’m still an amateur and this will be my first time playing away from the country so I won’t put too much pressure on myself. My golf idol is Thongchai Jaidee. I am fortunate to have been able to train with him and experience golf with him. He’s not only a great player who has won the Asian Tour several times, he’s also a really nice guy and he really tries to share what he has with me, and I think I really have lucky with that and it’s really very precious. “

This year’s Singapore Open amateur champion Ryan Ang and fellow Singapore national team players Justin Kuk and Brandon Han will be the other main amateurs competing in the SMBC Singapore Open.

The Singapore International and SMBC Singapore Open are the 2020-21 end-of-season events on the Asian Tour.

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