Thailand’s Poom leaves Memphis with eyes wide open

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Thailand’s Poom Saksansin finished in a share of 58th position amongst 63 elite golfers at the US$10.25 million World Golf Championships-FedEx St Jude Invitational and left Memphis knowing where his game needs to be to compete at the highest level.

The 26-year-old signed for a closing 4-over 74 at TPC Southwind on Sunday and his four-day total of 10-over 290 was good enough to beat four PGA TOUR winners in Sung Kang of South Korea and the American trio of Keegan Bradley, Max Homa and Kevin Tway.

Poom said: “It was nice, a good experience at a big event. I was struggling with my driver before arriving but I managed to get it to work and hit it a lot better than the past few weeks. Hopefully this will help build my confidence.”

Brooks Koepka, the current FedExCup No. 1 and World No. 1, captured his third title of the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season by three shots after closing with a 65 and the baby-faced Poom, a three-time Asian Tour winner, was under no illusion of the fact that he needs to raise his game up a few notches if he hopes to go toe-to-toe with the best players in the world.

Power is something which Poom realises he needs to generate after he ended the week some 40 yards shorter than Koepka in the average driving distance category. Poom clocked in an average 267.4 yards from off the tee while Koepka registered 308.4 yards during a successful week which saw him claim the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 bonus prize of US$2 million after achieving an unassailable lead in the points list.

With one regular season event remaining before the start of the FedExCup Playoffs, Koepka is also in prime position to lift the prestigious FedExCup and bag a whopping US$15 million in bonus pay out.

“Watching Brooks hit driver is like watching another step up of playing golf. He’s got all the muscles,” said Poom. “I know I have to improve on my distance and I have to be better with my confidence too. The result is not good for me but if I look at my main problem, it was just a few things.”

He said he truly enjoyed his week in the historic city of Memphis, which is the birthplace of Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n Roll. Poom also got to sample the city’s famous BBQs. “I have a friend who is studying here, and he had a lot of good food recommendations. I enjoyed some BBQ,” added Poom who will take a three-week break before resuming action on the Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour.

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