2014 has been a great year for Thongchai, with good performances at the WGC - Cadillac Championship, BMW International Open and Alstom Open de France, seeing him move up the Official World Golf Rankings. Throw in the Nordea Masters title, after seeing off Ryder Cup hopefuls Stephen Gallacher and Victor Dubuisson, and it is easy to see why he is such a highly regarded golfer. From humble beginnings, he has blazed a trail for golf in Thailand with numerous records to his name. In 2004 he made history as the first Thai golfer to win an event on The European Tour with victory in the Malaysian Open, and then successfully defended the title in 2005. Secured a hat-trick of Tour victories by winning the 2009 Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open at the beginning of March and followed that quickly with win number four in the Ballantine's Championship in Korea at the end of April. His first victory earned a personal audience with Thailand’s former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who gave him a diplomatic passport to expedite his future ease of movement between countries on The European Tour. Proved he could also win on European soil with victory at the ISPS Handa Wales Open in June 2012. Came close to winning the 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship, only to be piped 2&1 by an in-form Graeme McDowell in the final. He was also the first player to break the US$2 million barrier in career earnings on the Asian Tour and, on making his Masters Tournament debut in 2006, became the first Thai to compete in all four Majors. Spent his childhood in a two storey wooden house which backed onto a golf course. Represented his province at football but was injured when a wooden skewer was embedded in his foot. During recuperation he sneaked onto the Army Golf Club behind his home in Lop Buri, tied the discarded head of a five iron to a bamboo stick and started playing golf. Joined the Royal Thai Army in 1989, aged 20, becoming a paratrooper and then turned professional ten years later.