In-form Prayad hopes to shine at The Open

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The evergreen Prayad Marksaeng hopes to continue his rich vein of form when he makes his sixth appearance at The Open next week.

The 51-year-old Thai won his 10th Asian Tour title at the SMBC Singapore Open to qualify for the year’s third Major championship which will be played at Royal Birkdale Golf Club from July 20 to 23.

Prayad is enjoying an incredible season highlighted by his win in Singapore and two other victories on the Seniors Tour in Japan. On the Asian Tour, the Thai has missed only one cut in seven appearances while securing two other top-10 results.

After playing in The Open in 1999, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, Prayad hopes to make his first cut but admits the unpredictable weather will be a huge challenge.

“It is very difficult to make the cut because the course and weather is very different. Every year, I will be in the last or first groups and I will be playing in the wind or rain. If I can make the cut, I will be very happy,” said Prayad.

“This will be the sixth time I play in The Open. I feel that my game is very good and in good shape. But like I said, it will be windy, cold and raining so it won’t be easy to control the ball. It will be a very difficult week,” he added.

To cope with the blustery conditions, Prayad plans to put a two-iron in his golf bag. “Maybe I’ll take a two-iron with me and hit low ball flights. My natural ball flight is high so that’s my problem.”

Prayad believes that he gets better with age and is looking forward to the challenge against the world’s best golfers at Royal Birkdale.

“Physically, I feel good. My mental game is also strong. I enjoy playing golf so I don’t feel stress. I keep walking fast on the course and I don’t feel like a senior. I have a natural swing and don’t use much power so that helps a lot.

“I very happy because I can still play with the young boys. The only difference in my game 10 years ago? Maybe I putted better but overall, my game is good,” said Prayad.

He will be joined by two other Thais at Royal Birkdale including Thongchai Jaidee and teenager Phachara Khongwatmai.

Other Asian Tour members in the elite field include Indians Anirban Lahiri and Shiv Kapur, Jeunghun Wang, K.T. Kim, Scott Hend, Jbe Kruger, Yikeun Chang, Kim Giwhan, Younghan Song and current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader David Lipsky.

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