Phachara Khongwatmai believes that his age will be an asset rather than a liability when he represents Team Asia at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM from January 12 to 14, 2018.
The 18-year-old Phachara is determined to bring out his air of youthful fearlessness when he represents Asia against Team Europe in the Ryder Cup style match play event which will be played at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
“I’m the youngest player in the event and honestly, I don’t feel any pressure,” said Phachara. “When Team Europe knows how old I am, they will really want to try and beat me. But if I get off to a fast start, they might start to get worried.
Phachara may be young, but the teenager clearly knows how to play good, competitive golf. When he was 14 years old, he won as an amateur to become the youngest player to win a professional tournament in the world.
He turned professional in 2014 and won twice on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) before going on to enjoy a solid Asian Tour career. Phachara is currently seventh on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, a clear indication of his sound performance on the Tour this year.
The young Thai is certainly no pushover when it comes to match play. At the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth, he defeated Sam Brazel, Lucas Herbert, Matthew Millar and Jason Scrivener in the knockout stage of the tournament.
He missed out on the title after losing to home favourite Brett Rumford in the final match but his performance his testament to his true golfing ability which belies his age.
“I feel good about representing Team Asia because I’ve never played in a team match play before. Hopefully, I can play as well as I did in Australia at the EurAsia Cup,” said Phachara.
In particular, he is looking forward to working with team captain Arjun Atwal of India, whom he found inspirational.
“I believe he (Atwal) can make us all be better players. I watched him play in Mauritius and he fought so hard. I was thinking at that time, maybe I’ll give him my spot!” he said, laughingly.
Atwal has selected China’s Zhang Lianwei, one of the most decorated players of his generation, as his Vice-Captain to help him lead Team Asia.
Phachara, along with newly crowned merit champion Gavin Green, S.S.P. Chawrasia and Poom Saksansin join Team Asia as the four leading players on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Japan’s Yuta Ikeda of Japan, China’s Li Haotong, India’s Lahiri and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat earned their spots in Team Asia as the leading available Asians on the world ranking.
Korea’s Byeonghun An is the captain’s pick. He will be representing Team Asia for the second time at the EurAsia Cup.
Wildcards Hideto Tanihara of Japan and Nicholas Fung of Malaysia, who will be making his third EurAsia Cup appearance, will round up the team.
The EurAsia Cup will feature 24 matches, with day one showcasing six Fourball matches, followed by six Foursomes matches and 12 Singles matches on the third day.
Ticket sales are now open. You can purchase the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM tickets here: https://www.ticketpro.com.my/