Thongchai Marks 200th Asian Tour Event at Maybank Championship

Thai star Thongchai Jaidee will play in his 200th Asian Tour event at his favourite hunting ground when the US$3 million Maybank Championship starts on Thursday.

The Thai veteran will fittingly mark a new milestone in his career at the Saujana Golf and Country Club, the venue where he won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005 which subsequently launched his career.

At the age of 48, Thongchai admits that he is preparing for the Seniors Tour where he is eligible to play on at the age of 50.

He is still committed and passionate about the game but will juggle between playing professionally and overseeing the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation. He also has plans to build an international school in his home town in Lopburi.

A return to Malaysia, a country which he calls ‘home’, always brings out the best in Thongchai. He will contend for the prestigious title against a stellar line-up which includes an in-form Li Hao-tong of China, Major champion Henrik Stenson and popular Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Li, who was part of Team Asia in the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia three weeks ago, is full of confidence heading into this week’s Maybank Championship after his spectacular victory in Dubai last week where he defeated four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy.

The win propelled the 22-year-old to 32nd place on the Official World Golf Ranking and became the first Chinese golfer to break into the top-50 in the world.

Shiv Kapur, who won thrice on the Asian Tour last year, hopes to continue his fine form at the Maybank Championship where his wife, Maya, and baby girl, Veda, will cheer for him outside the ropes at Saujana.

The Indian star also hopes to extend his lead on the Panasonic Swing rankings where he leads on 2771.40 points. The Maybank Championship is the penultimate Panasonic Swing event where Asian Tour players have an opportunity to shoot for a share of the lucrative bonus pool.


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