Thongchai Jaidee is targeting a return to his early season form as he seeks more success on Asian soil in this week’s Ballantine’s Championship in Korea.
The Thai, winner of the event four years ago when it was staged at Pinx Golf Club on Jeju Island, burst out of the blocks at the start of the 2013 campaign, finishing third in the Volvo Golf Champions followed by back-to-back tied ninth place finishes in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Although he has made the cut in each of his four European Tour events since, his initial momentum has slowed down and now, after not playing in the last three events in The Race to Dubai, he is hoping to return to action feeling refreshed.
“I’m feeling recharged after coming back from a break,” he said. “I had to work on my putting as I was not putting well the last couple of weeks.
“A lot will have to depend on the weather this week. When I won on Jeju Island, the weather was ‘killing’ me. It was so cold back then.
“This golf course is different from Jeju. It’s hilly and the greens are very fast and sloping. The course is pretty much the same as last year. Nothing much has changed except for the position of a few holes.”
Jaidee’s victory in the 2009 Ballantine’s Championship, when he defeated Korean Kang Sung-hoon and Spaniard with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño in a play-off, was his second of that season, as he went on to finish 19th in The Race to Dubai, his best campaign to date on The European Tour.
It was his fourth European Tour title on Asian soil, and after claiming his first victory in Europe in last year’s ISPS Handa Wales Open, he is now hoping to return to Asia for more silverware.
“I’ve been playing all over the world, but whether it’s in Asia or in Europe, it doesn’t really matter to me as long as the tournament is well organised like this week’s Ballantine’s Championship.
“I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself. If I can win again, that’s good. But if I can’t, I’ll try harder in the next tournament.
“In golf, you never know. There are a lot of ups and down, but more importantly, you have got to keep going even though the week, even if it may not be going well for you.
“I know what it’s like as you have got to stay patient for that win, and hopefully it will eventually come.”