IN HIS SHORT CAREER HE HAS ALREADY WON SEVERAL TOURNAMENTS INCLUDING THE PRESTIGIOUS MALAYSIAN MAY BANK OPEN IN 2012 AND THE 2015 SHENZEN INTERNATIONAL ON THE EUROPEAN TOUR AND HE IS ONLY 25 YRS OLD!
Kiradech has played with all the greats including Phil Nicholson, Rickie Fowler, Miguel Jimenez and Bubba Watson, and recently came 5th in the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa and in the top ten at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.
Khun Arm as he is affectionally know by his family and all his friends, has been exciting golfers on the course and globally on TV, with his John daily style of golf. he is known as a quick player with
some massive drives and several very long putts on the green. he is currently ranked 86th in the World.
Many around the world watched his emotions when his mother came onto the green when he won the Shenzen International this year. We met up with him again at the Thailand Open at Siam Country Club’s Plantation Course.
He told me that this season he had been tracking the ball well with confidence, however the last two weeks he had missed the cut, which was due mainly to the wind and the cold weather conditions.
Kiradech said, ‘Thongchai Jaidee has been experiencing these conditions for a few years now, but I am now learning how to work in these conditions and how to control the ball in the wind.
I have also lost 10 kilos by training harder and although I really did not go to the gym before I am now working out and I am also watching what I eat. Even my fiancé knows what to cook now too!!!’
Kiradech’s childhood fiancé actually lived in Pattaya and they had a star studded engagement party at the Hilton Pattaya a couple of months ago. She actually went to high school on the US and got her first degree in Melbourne and she has completed her masters in Brighton in the UK, so she is also used to a lot of travelling.
‘I was playing a lot around the world but when I played in Europe we occasionally met, so when she graduated we felt the time was right to get engaged. We plan to ft in our wedding either at the end of this year or next year, and will make our base in Bangkok.
Turning to the Olympics 2016, Kiradech said he had been talking to Tongchai Jaidee about this recently . ‘We have played quite a lot together in team events so if you look back at the Royal Trophy or the Asian Cup we were quite a strong team. I have the length and he is very consistent, so that combination is perfect for a team event.
I expect the Team Asia event will return again soon so we should be able to play again.’ Turning to schedules I asked him how he was coping playing on so many tours. Kiradech has this year
played on the Asian, European, One Asia and PGA tours and still plays a few events on the Japanese Tour as well. he was due to play in Koh Samui at the Asian Tour’s Queens Cup, but he decided as he was tired to take a week of in Bangkok so he had to pull out.
His schedule for the next few weeks includes the German, French, Scottish and British Opens plus a trip to Switzerland all back to back. he is also trying to go back on the Japanese tour after that.
Kiradech’s schedule is one of the toughest on tour!
All this hard work is obviously starting to pay of and one of his passions has always been motor cars. He told me his first car was a Honda, then a Subaru and in those days he was also racing cars too. he then was persuaded by his mother to give up racing, so he bought a Mercedes E Coupe and then a Lexus.
He also bought his dad a Mercedes as a birthday present and his Mum a Porsche Cayan. He then drove around in Lexus followed by his own Porsche. However his ultimate boyhood dream had always been to drive a Ferrari and so after his historic win in China he splashed out on his own white Ferrari F430.
‘Now every time I stop to fill up with petrol people come to have a close look,’ said a smiling Kiradech. He still has to get his team to drive a larger vehicle to carry the golf bags, as the Ferrari’s trunk is very small!!!
Kiradech is still a very friendly and approachable guy, likes to look after his friends and loves to play in Thailand, so his growing army of supporters can see him up close. He even has t shirts with ‘Team Kiradech” printed on, so you may see his many fans at the course cheering him on.
Early this year I found him happily following his golfing friends at the Honda LPGA as a spectator. Everyone wanted his autograph and even Yani Tseng came over and said hello. Kiradech was really impressed as they had not seen each other for over ten years when they used to train together as juniors.
Having now won twice on the European Tour, he has now secured his European playing rights for another two years, so expect to see another Thai up there along with Tongchai on the leader board in the future. We wish him well this season.