Chawalit looks for return to form for Samui defence
champion Chawalit Plaphol returns to home soil eager to bounce back
to his winning ways at the Bangkok Airways Open which tees off on
Chawalit, with two titles in Asia, has found the right touch to
his game ahead of the challenges at the Santiburi Samui Country
Club which had brought him success last year.
But the Thai stalwart will be up against a solid field this week
that include fellow compatriots Thongchai Jaidee, a two-time Asian
Tour number one, Thaworn Wiratchant, Mardan Mamat of Singapore,
Indias Gaurav Ghei, who is currently ranked seventh on the
Asian Tours UBS Order of Merit, and Malaysian duo of Iain
Steel, who finished in the top-five last year, and Airil Rizman
Having found the right swing to his game two weeks ago, Chawalit
is inspired to put his game to the test when he tackles the par-71
course, known by many as the Beast of Samui.
I am very excited coming into this week as my form is finally
back on course, said Chawalit.
I have been struggling with my swing this year and that is
why my performance on the Asian Tour has not been too good. But
I stuck to my routine and made little changes which paid off two
weeks ago when I started to strike the ball on target, admitted
Chawalit missed the cut in four out of the nine events competed
this season before focusing his game in Japan in April. The Chonburi-based
talent then returned to Thailand last week in preparation for the
I was not discouraged even when I played poorly in Japan
as I stuck to my plan. I worked on my swing bit by bit. I was happy
when I returned home last week where I have doing light training
prior to coming here. I feel good about my game now and I hope to
do well. But the course here is always challenging with the tight
fairways, he said.
Feeling right at home is Chinese Taipies Lu Wen-teh who enjoys
playing on the undulating course which saw him lift the title back
I am always looking forward to my trip here. Its a
good course which requires accurate shots off the tee. I am playing
well and I hope to use my experience for a strong result,
said the 44-year-old Lu, who won the Macau Open last month.
I came close to winning in Macau a few times before and finally
struck it right this year. I did not do anything spectacular but
used my experience to see me through the win which is what I hope
to do here as well, added Lu, who finished fourth last year.
Singapores Mardan also heads into Koh Samui high in confidence
after his joint second place finish in Wales on Sunday.
I am feeling good about my game especially after my performance
in Wales last week. I handled myself well mentally and I hope to
apply the same approach this week, said Mardan.
The Santiburi Samui Country Club is in excellent shape. The
rough is not as thick as last year. The conditions of the greens
are good too, added the Singaporean.
The other top players vying for honours are Filipino young gun
Juvic Pagunsan, last years Asian Tours Rookie of the
Year, Thailands Chapchai Nirat and Chinarat Phadungsil and
Australias Unho Park.
June 6, 2007