Nitithorn Thippong says complacency got the better of him after he won twice on the Asian Tour last year and led to a poor first half to this season before he bounced back with victory in the Mandiri Indonesia Open two weeks ago.
The friendly Thai star claimed The DGC Open presented by Mastercard in March and the International Series Singapore five months later, but his form dipped, and he was a shadow of the player who took the Asian Tour by storm in 2022 – corroborating his nickname “Fever”.
“My goal was to be in top 50 in the world,” said Nitithorn – who competes in this week’s International Series England, which tees off Thursday, at Close House, near Newcastle.
“But those two wins put pressure on me. I got too much confidence and lost my discipline. Too much comfortable is not good.”
This year, before Indonesia, the 26-year-old missed four out of nine cuts, didn’t record a single top 10, and admitted he felt he had no chance of lifting a trophy.
However, in the lead up to Indonesia a practice round with his girlfriend proved pivotal.
He said: “That day she asked me to play 18 holes. The day before the round, my swing still didn’t feel right, I had so many negative things on my mind. But then it started to click.”
It transpired that all the things he had been working on with his coach started to come to fruition, finally.
“Last year I got my transition at top of backswing correct, just move to the left a little and brings my arms down but I lost that this year,” he said.
“I was always trying to maintain my swing, but the trouble is there is so many things to think about, but I figured out what to work on again with my coach.
“It started to be good when I played a round of golf with my girlfriend and I was able to transfer those swing feelings to the week of Indonesia. It was a great feeling. I can hit straight again!”
Nitithorn also admits he had to refocus, be disciplined again and practice really hard in order to return to the winner’s circle.
He will be hoping the turnaround in his fortunes translates into more success this week and that he becomes the first back-to-back winner on the Asian Tour since his countryman Jazz Janewattananond claimed the BNI Indonesian Masters and Thailand Masters in December 2019.