July 30: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat is determined put up a performance worthy of his status as the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion after receiving news of his invitation to the 96th PGA Championship which will tee off next week.
The year’s fourth and final Major gets underway at the Valhalla Golf Club from August 7-10 and a delighted Kiradech is grateful to be given the opportunity to tee up against the world’s best players again.
“The PGA Championship is a fantastic event and I really enjoyed the occasion especially the atmosphere, the fans and the media attention last year. I’m really thankful to the PGA of America for this invitation as it offers me to chance to do well and represent Asia again,” said Kiradech.
The Thai endeared himself to the American fans and media with his go-for-broke style of play and affable personality when he made his PGA Championship debut last year.
The 25-year-old was also among the early pace setters and emerged as the second-best placed Asian after Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
“It was fun. I remember the fans cheering me on at the tee boxes and they liked to see me use my driver. I love it when they asked about TEAM KIRADECH. I’m really pleased as they are all part of my team too,” quipped Kiradech.
Despite only posting one top-10 in the first half of the 2014 season, the former world junior champion is confident normalcy will return to his game soon.
“The course will be challenging for sure and I’ve to improve on my putting game. But I’m confident in my driving and irons and hopefully it’ll all work out next week,” said Kiradech, who is ranked 114th in the world.
“I love playing in US as the course conditions there really suit my game. I also like the glass type there. It’s tough but I’ve learnt how to play on it. I always feel that I have a good chance each time I play in the States,” added the Thai.
Kiradech will have the company of Asian Tour’s Anirban Lahiri of India, compatriot Thongchai Jaidee as well as honorary members, K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang of Korea, South Africa’s Ernie Els and 2010 Order of Merit winner Noh Seung-yul of Korea at the PGA Championship.
The PGA Championship will boost a world class field that features every player ranked in the top 100 of the world rankings.
Source: Asian Tour