A resurgent Itthipat Buranatanyarat will be looking to ride on his good form when the second edition of the Singha Laguna Phuket Open which gets underway on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Thai will head to the THB2 million (approx. USD64,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event on the back of his recent victory on the Thai PGA Tour. It was his sixth professional win since he joined the play-for pay ranks in 2014.
Itthipat will be pitting his skills against an elite field which includes American John Michael O’Toole, Swede Oscar Zetterwall and Australian Martin Dive at the award-winning Laguna Golf Phuket.
Itthipat, who has enjoyed two top-10 finishes in his last three starts on the ADT, credits his good form to a good support system he enjoys at home and his enhanced workout regime.
“I have been working hard with a new trainer that my father recommended me to see on building strength and conditioning. Getting my body back on track this year was key and I can see the changes in my swing and my overall game,” said the Thai who is nicknamed, Boom.
“My father has always been a big part of my career. He plans out my schedule for me and is also my biggest supporter. He has been my mental coach since I first started playing golf and he never gets mad when I come back with a bad round. I call him after every round and he knows all the right things to say to encourage me and keep me going,” added Itthipat.
Itthipat is eager to return to the course where he carded four consistent rounds in the 60s. He will be banking on his course knowledge and ability to play well in harsh conditions for a top finish in Phuket.
“We had to play through heavy rain last year and I am proud of the fact that I was able to stay in control and put up four good rounds. My win in Nakhon Nayok two weeks ago was a difficult one too since it rained all week and I had to play different shots into the strong winds. If I can win in such difficult conditions, I am confident I can play well anywhere,” added Itthipat.
Other notable names in the 156-man field is American Blake Snyder, a two-time ADT winner, and Japan’s Shinichi Mizuno who finished tied-fifth last week in Penang. Newly-crowned ADT winner Nitithorn Thippong will spearhead the local charge along with Poosit Supupramai and Kasidit Lepkurte.
The Singha Laguna Phuket Open is the eighth leg of the 2018 ADT schedule and the tour’s first stop in Thailand this year. Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.
The leading five players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.
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