THONGCHAI’S PASSION FOR THE ROYAL TROPHY CONTINUES


Thongchai Jaidee will crown one of the most successful years of his career by making a record–breaking sixth appearance at the Royal Trophy.

The charismatic Thailand star was an ever–present in the Asian Team as the first five editions of the Royal Trophy were played in his homeland, and was only absent from the Asian troops for the majestic event in the sixth edition, when it was played in the Sultanate of Brunei in 2012.

But he will make his sixth appearance at the Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China, moving one ahead of Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa – who will line up alongside Thongchai next month – and European ace Henrik Stenson.

The Thongchai–Stenson rivalry is not limited to vying for the most Royal Trophy appearances. They also squared up in the Singles at the inaugural Royal Trophy in 2006, and then fought out one of the most memorable matches witnessed in the competition so far during a pulsating climax to the 2010 contest. Stenson holed a clutch putt on the final hole to square that match, handing Europe a nail–biting 8 ½ – 7 ½ victory.

Thongchai showed just how much it means to him to represent Asia, as he looked almost inconsolable after Stenson had clawed his way back from three down with eight holes remaining to square that match.

But it was a different story a year earlier, when the Thai golfer’s stellar performance helped Asia to their first Royal Trophy victory. He scored a maximum three points, teaming up with Prayad Marksaeng to devastating effect in the Fourballs and Foursomes before overwhelming Paul McGinley, Europe’s current Ryder Cup captain, 5&4 in the Singles.

That helped his team romp to a 10–6 win, and after missing out on Asia’s thrilling play–off triumph last year after the teams finished tied at 8–8, Thongchai is determined to help them retain the Royal Trophy for the first time.

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