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Tirawat gears up for title defence at Betagro Championship

Tue 22 May 2018

Tirawat gears up for title defence at Betagro Championship

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Nakorn Pathom, Thailand, May 22: Thailand’s Tirawat Kaewsiribandit will be eyeing for a successful title defence at the popular Betagro Championship which gets underway at the Suwan Golf and Country Club on Thursday.


The 28-year-old Tirawat, who turned professional in 2010, had battled through a back injury to lift his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title with a three-shot victory last year, albeit on a different course.

His breakthrough win spurred him to four top-10 finishes on the Asian Tour where he finished on a career-high 36th place on the 2017 Order of Merit, thereby retaining his playing rights on the region’s premier Tour for the 2018 season.

Despite making only one cut in seven starts on the Asian Tour so far this season, the lanky Thai is hopeful of turning his season around with a repeat victory at the ฿3,000,000 (approx. US$96,000) event, which is the ADT’s second stop in Thailand this year.

“My game has definitely improved a lot after winning on the ADT last year. It was a great boost to my confidence. I remember I couldn’t even rotate my hips through my swing at one point last year because of the back injury and I had to take a break from golf for a month,” said Tirawat.

“I have been taking care of my body since the injury and doing a lot of stretching which helps. It’s so important to be mindful of your body especially after you have recovered from an injury.

“I am just grateful that I can play 18 holes without feeling any pain now and I am happy to be playing golf without having to think so much,” he added.

Tirawat will lead a strong Thai contingent which includes reigning ADT Order of Merit champion Pannakorn Uthaipas, newly-crowned ADT winners Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij and Nitithorn Thippong, in the event, jointly sanctioned by the All Thailand Golf Tour and the ADT.

Singapore’s Johnson Poh, Argentinean Miguel Carballo and Sweden's Oscar Zetterwall placed second, third and fifth and respectively on the ADT Order of Merit, will also feature in the talented 144-man field, which consists of 60 players from the ADT, 64 players from the All Thailand Golf Tour and 20 players from the Qualifier.

Other notable names include Australian duo Marcus Both and Adam Blyth and India’s Himmat Rai, all winners on the Asian Tour.

The Betagro Championship is the ninth leg on the ADT’s 2018 schedule. All ADT events are afforded Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum 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.

For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.

Ends.

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 Web.com 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.