Augusta, United States: Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee intends to complete a personal Major milestone when he makes his third appearance at the Masters Tournament starting on Thursday.
The three-time Asian Tour number one did not make it through to the weekend rounds in his previous visits to Augusta National Golf Club in 2006 and 2010 but is hoping it will be a case of third-time lucky in the year’s opening Major.
“I have played in all four rounds of the other three Major championships but not at the Masters Tournament. It would be my goal to make the half-way cut this time so that I get to complete my own Grand Slam of made cuts in the Majors,” said the 44-year-old who is currently ranked 51st in the world.
“It will be great to return to Augusta National after missing it for several years. It is a very special tournament and it is good to be amongst the top players in the world. The venue is also one of the best on Tour and I will be hoping to play well.”
Thongchai is one of six Asians in the elite starting line-up. The others are Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and the Korean quartet of YE Yang, KJ Choi, Bae Sang-moon and Lee Chang-woo, the reigning Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner.
Thongchai said his emphasis for the week would be to master the slick greens. “We all know that the greens at Augusta National are very tricky, very hard to putt on. I have been working hard on my putting and hope to spend as much time as possible on the greens at Augusta National to know them better,” said the Thai.
“If I can putt well, then I know I will have a chance to compete well during the week. When I played at Augusta National twice previously, I found it a real challenge to putt well on the greens.”