Channel NewsAsia

Golf: In-form Thongchai fired up for Open challenge

Thai standout Thongchai Jaidee believes his all-weather game could help him contend at The Open Championship which starts at Royal Liverpool on Thursday.

HOYLAKE: Thai standout Thongchai Jaidee believes his all-weather game could help him contend at The Open Championship which starts at Royal Liverpool on Thursday.

The triple Asian Tour number one reckons he now has the required shots in his bag and mindset to tackle the vagaries of links golf which is closely associated with the world's oldest major championship.

"The feeling is good," said Thongchai, whose best finish at The Open was joint 13th at Turnberry in 2009.

"I'm feeling confident after winning in Sweden (last month) and finishing top five in Germany and France.

"Everything comes up when you have confidence. I'm putting well, driving well and hitting my irons good.

"I've been working hard with my coach Peter Wolfenstetter this year and my game is feeling good."

Two of Thongchai's career wins were achieved under horrendous weather conditions in Korea and Wales which have given the former paratrooper the belief that he can handle the weather elements at Royal Liverpool.

"The course is playing hard and the weather is always the main thing. If the weather is good, it will be easy. But on links courses, you must expect anything.

"You have to know exactly what you want to do on a links course. The wind or rain will just come and you have to adjust and have a strong mind.

"That would be very important. You have to be mentally ready for any weather.

"The good thing is I have won in bad weather ... in Korea and Wales before. I've also learned so many things playing in in the UK for over 10 years now. I'm not scared of rain or bad weather."

"With his world ranking rising to a career high of 34th position, Thongchai, who has 13 wins on the Asian Tour and two in Europe, believes he has a chance to break into the top-10 as he is enjoying some of the best form of his life.

"For me, my life now is more than enough. It's been a fantastic year. I'm not sure if it will get better but I will keep trying.

"If possible, I want to keep going higher in the world ranking. If I can get into the top-10, I would like that," said Thongchai, who will be making his eighth appearance at The Open.

His German coach Wolfenstetter has tipped his prodigy to challenge for a first major victory on the Hoylake layout.

"He certainly has the ability to win a Major, even this week.

"At the Open, luck will play a part as you always need to be on the good side of the draw but he's got good brains and a strong mind."

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia