Greater Noida: Three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will be looking to reignite his winning ambitions when he tees up at the €1.8million Avantha Masters at the Jaypee Greens Golf Course from March 14-17.
The Thai star, currently ranked 58th in the world, has enjoyed a flying start to his 2013 campaign with three successive top-10s in South Africa and the Middle East.
The local charge will be spearheaded by Jeev Milkha Singh, Asia’s number one in 2006 and 2008 as well as Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar who have a combined total of six Asian Tour victories.
The 43-year-old Thongchai also enjoyed a memorable 2012 campaign when he notched his first victory on European soil with his triumph at the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
A second win in India could be timely for Thongchai as his last win in the subcontinent came in 2001 at the Indian Open.
“I’m looking forward to going back to India to compete at the Avantha Masters. I’ve been playing well since the start of the year and hoping my good form will translate into a win for me,” said Thongchai who holds an unprecedented three Merit crowns and 13 titles in Asia.
Thongchai suffered a setback when he was knocked out by Spain’s Sergio Garcia in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play championship last month.
But he is expected to bounce back and shoot for more glory when the Avantha Masters, which is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), gets underway.
“That’s golf. You cannot expect to win all the time but the most important is to bounce back and get ready for your next tournament,” said Thongchai.
Other Asian Tour stars expected to vie for top honours include Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, a three-time Asian Tour winner, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg,
Australia’s Scott Hend and Korean-American David Lipsky.
The Avantha Masters will be played at a new venue this year with the event being staged at the Greg Norman-designed Jaypee Greens Golf Course, in Greater Noida near Delhi, India.
The course features 14 water hazards and 88 bunkers and, at 7,347 yards, is India’s longest golf course.