Hoylake, England, July 18: Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat believes he has turned the corner of his lackluster season despite missing the halfway cut for the second straight year at The Open Championship on Friday.
Two late bogeys in his round of three-over-par 75 at Royal Liverpool proved costly for the reigning Asian Tour number one as he agonisingly missed the weekend play by one shot in the year’s third Major.
Korean star K.J. Choi also suffered a similar fate with two bogeys in his last five holes proving decisive as he also settled for a disappointing 75 which left him one shot too many.
The burly Kiradech lamented once more on his erratic short game but took solace by the fact that his ball-striking was nearly back to its best following a season to remember in 2013 when he won once and posted five other top-fives.
“I still hit the ball really well. But I was struggling a lot around the greens, chipping and putting was not good,” said Kiradech.
After early bogeys, he fought back with birdies on five and eight but dropped four more shots in a seven-hole stretch to miss the mark.
“I missed a few short putts, missed a one-footer on the third hole which I’ve never missed from that distance in my life. I managed to come back with a few birdies but I couldn’t birdie 16 and 18 (both par fives). I tried my best. Hit the ball quite well and solid but I just couldn’t sink my putts,” said Kiradech.
“I was trying so hard. I was in the greenside bunker on 18 but couldn’t get it up and down for birdie. I forced myself too much but I’m happy with how I played.
“When we started, the winds were so strong but I managed to control my ball under the wind. I hit many good shots. But when I needed a birdie, I couldn’t sink the putts. The course was different from the first round as the winds picked up especially on the front nine.
“Making the cut in a Major championship is important. But I think I’ve got my confidence back as I’m starting to hit the ball well again. I’m looking forward to picking up a trophy in the second half of the year.”
Source: Asian Tour