Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat will be aiming for a summer to remember as he aims to complete a double mission by breaking into the world’s top-50 and qualifying for the International team for the Presidents Cup in Korea in October.
The 2013 Asian Tour number one was disappointed he was forced to withdraw from the second round of the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open due to a neck strain but with several top events lined up in Europe, he is preparing for a few big months ahead.
“I’ve got a few big tournaments and hope to have good results. It was disappointing that I had to withdraw from Mauritius as I had a bad neck after sleeping poorly,” said the world number 77.
The big-hitting Thai won his third major victory in China last month which has boosted his hopes of qualifying for the Presidents Cup, a biennial match between the United States and International team.
Currently ranked 15th on the International listing, he needs to break into the top-10 which currently comprises of Asian Tour stalwarts Anirban Lahiri of India and Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee.
“It’s one of my goals to get into the world’s top-50,” said Kiradech, whose highest ranking achieved was 59th two seasons ago.
“If I can keep my form, I think I can get into the top-50 easily. It’s very close right now. I am hitting it good and I don’t think it’s too difficult to get in.
“I’m working with my new coach now for two years and I have confidence with my swing. I’m striking the ball solid and I have confidence to play. The main thing is I know how to do it and I can get back to my best form.”
He hopes to make a late bid to get into the Presidents Cup.
“It’s one of the best team events. We can’t play the Ryder Cup but we’ve now got the EurAsia Cup (Asia vs Europe). The Presidents Cup is a big tournament, so it’s a goal for me to try to get into the top-10. Play well in the big events in summer, maybe I will get a chance to get in,” said the 25-year-old.
“Anirban has done really well since we played junior golf together. He’s won two co-sanctioned events this year and we’re all so proud of his success. If he and Thongchai can make the International team, it would be great. Having three Asian Tour players would be fantastic.”