Itthipat hopes to continue momentum at Singha Laguna Phuket Open

Wed 09 May 2018

Itthipat hopes to continue momentum at Singha Laguna Phuket Open


Phuket, May 9: A resurgent Itthipat Buranatanyarat will be looking to ride on his good form when the second edition of the Singha Laguna Phuket Open gets underway on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Thai will head to the ฿2 million (approx. US$64,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event on the back of his recent victory on the Thai PGA Tour. It was his sixth professional win since he joined the play-for pay ranks in 2014.

Itthipat will be pitting his skills against an elite field which includes American John Michael O’Toole, Swede Oscar Zetterwall and Australian Martin Dive at the award-winning Laguna Golf Phuket.

Itthipat, who has enjoyed two top-10 finishes in his last three starts on the ADT, credits his good form to a good support system he enjoys at home and his enhanced workout regime.

“I have been working hard with a new trainer that my father recommended me to see on building strength and conditioning. Getting my body back on track this year was key and I can see the changes in my swing and my overall game,” said the Thai who is nicknamed, Boom.

“My father has always been a big part of my career. He plans out my schedule for me and is also my biggest supporter. He has been my mental coach since I first started playing golf and he never gets mad when I come back with a bad round. I call him after every round and he knows all the right things to say to encourage me and keep me going,” added Itthipat.

Itthipat is eager to return to the course where he carded four consistent rounds in the 60s. He will be banking on his course knowledge and ability to play well in harsh conditions for a top finish in Phuket.

“We had to play through heavy rain during this tournament last year and I am proud of the fact that I was able to stay in control and put up four good rounds. My win in Nakhon Nayok two weeks ago was a difficult one too since it rained all week and I had to play different shots into the strong winds. If I can win in such difficult conditions, I am confident I can play well anywhere,” added Itthipat.

Other notable names in the 156-man field is American Blake Snyder, a two-time ADT winner, and Japan’s Shinichi Mizuno who finished tied-fifth last week in Penang. Newly-crowned ADT winner Nitithorn Thippong will spearhead the local charge along with Poosit Supupramai and Kasidit Lepkurte.

The Singha Laguna Phuket Open is the eighth leg of the 2018 ADT schedule and the tour’s first stop in Thailand this year. Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading five players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

About Laguna Golf Phuket

Laguna Golf Phuket is an 18-hole, par 71 golf course situated in the heart of Asia’s first integrated resort – Laguna Phuket, conveniently accessible by complimentary shuttle service from the surrounding hotels. Thoroughly redesigned and reopened in 2015, the new landscaping with great emphasis on natural surroundings and wildlife provides golfers a whole new golfing experience. During the game, a tranquil journey into the native cultural experience with infused local elements creates a unique sense of place. The Thai villa design clubhouse offers a host of luxury facilities, including a well-stocked Pro Shop and international dining option. The course also features Southeast Asia’s first PGA-branded golf academy, offering a holistic learning experience by PGA instructors with a wide range of teaching packages, and extensive practice facilities including dedicated swing rooms with Trackman video analysis, as well as a purpose-built fitness studio with private sessions designed to improve your performance on the course.

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.