St Andrews, Scotland: Avoiding a hat-trick of missed Open Championship cuts is the initial target for Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat at St Andrews this week.
The 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion received a late exemption to the world’s eldest Major by virtue of his top-five ranking on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai after the completion of BMW International Open.
Kiradech, a two-time Asian Tour winner, struggled to find his form in his two previous appearances at The Open, missing the half-way cut in 2013 and 2014.
But after a string of impressive results, including a win in Shenzhen and a tied-fourth finish in Munich, Kiradech believes he is ready to shine against the world’s best players at the Home of Golf.
“I’ve learnt how to play The Open through the hard way. Both times, I was very determined to make the cut but missed out. However, those two Open appearances have given me lots of experience.
“I’m certainly faring a lot better this year. I had one win and several strong finishes on the PGA Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour. So, I’m quite satisfied with my progress as they exceeded my expectations,” said Kiradech.
Finding sustained consistency has been a problem for Kiradech. However, the 25-year-old believes four straight top-10s to end last year on a high note in eighth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit was a turning point.
“I’m enjoying my game a lot better this year with more consistency and accuracy in my driving and putting. I’m confident I’ll be able to do better this year. In golf, you need to find your rhythm and once you have that, it keeps getting better,” said Kiradech.