After a 15th place finish at the U.S. Open Championship, Thai ace Kiradech Aphibarnrat will now turn his attention to The 147th Open next month where he has never made the halfway cut in four appearances.
The 28-year-old Kiradech savoured a memorable week at the year’s second Major championship by signing off as the best-placed Asian player after closing with a three-over-par 73 to finish eight shots back of Brooks Koepka, who successfully defended his title.
The result at the U.S. Open Championship will give the popular Thai a spring in his step when he heads to Carnoustie from July 19 to 22.
“I am very happy with my result last week. I have enough points to keep my PGA Tour card now. I tried my best and gave my everything on Sunday but it really wasn’t my day. I didn’t give myself a lot of chances and I didn’t put any pressure on the leaders at all.
“But overall, it was still a good result and I accepted it. I’m looking forward to the year’s third Major at The Open. I think my golf game is much better than before. I am able to play under windy conditions now as I can control the ball better,” said the big-hitting Kiradech.
Kiradech, the 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, hopes to take advantage of his recent good form when he makes his fifth appearance at the world’s oldest Major championship. He made his debut at The Open in 2013 and qualified for four straight years before missing out on the 2017 edition.
“I have been working with my swing coaches Pete Cowen and Mike Walker for almost 16 months now. I am also working with my mental coach Lee Campbell. I have a great team and we have all been working really hard. I am very comfortable with my swing now and I feel very confident.
“I guess that’s the reason why I have been playing well for the last couple of months. I’m taking a week off and then I’ll play the Quicken Loans National, the Irish Open and the Scottish Open before heading to The Open,” said the world number 29.
Kiradech has enjoyed a spectacular season so far, claiming his third Asian Tour title and fourth European Tour victory at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth in February before securing his third Asian Development Tour (ADT) win in Brunei in March.
He went on to clinch a tied-fifth finish at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play later that month to break into the world’s top-30 for the first time in his career. Kiradech also enjoyed a top-five result at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship in May.
“I have played a couple of times at the Carnoustie Golf Links and I know it’s very tough. It’s definitely one of the toughest golf courses at The Open, especially when the wind is up. If the wind is up, the last three holes will be very difficult.
“I’m still very excited for The Open this year because I have two young Thai players, Jazz Janewattananond and Danthai Boonma, joining me. I am sure it will be a great experience for them. I would love to share my past experiences with them and offer my advice on how to tackle the links course, if I can.
“I definitely hope that they can produce good results. I also hope to produce good results myself as it’s the only Major which I have never made the cut before. I just want to keep the ball in play and do my best that week,” said Kiradech.
Reigning Order of Merit champion Gavin Green of Malaysia and India’s Shubhankar Sharma, who leads the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings, will also feature at The 147th Open at Carnoustie.
Other players who will spearhead the Asian Tour challenge at The Open include 2015 Order of Merit champion Anirban Lahiri of India, South African Shaun Norris, Japan’s Yuta Ikeda, Masahiro Kawamura and Kodai Ichihara.