Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Kiradech Aphibarnrat and his bride, Thanyarat Chaiyarat (pic by Maybank Championship) ()
Kiradech Aphibarnrat and his bride, Thanyarat Chaiyarat (pic by Maybank Championship) ()
Newlywed Kiradech Aphibarnrat is giving his wife her first taste of what it is like to be married to a player on The European Tour this week, by delaying their honeymoon to tee it up at the Maybank Championship Malaysia.

The 26 year old married his partner Tunyatorn Chaiyarat on Valentine's Day in a ceremony that involved a hot air balloon ride over Singha Park in their native Thailand, and just four days later begins his quest for victory at Royal Selangor Golf Club.

And while that may seem unorthodox to some, Aphibarnrat knows he has the support of his new bride as he returns to the country of his first European Tour triumph in 2013.

"I contact her on social media," he said. "She teaches in Thailand so she can't come because her students have an exam next week.

"My mum will come here on Friday.

I don't want to keep reminding my wife about the honeymoon because she will get angry! But she understands my work - Kiradech Aphibarnrat

After a week of great personal happiness, Aphibarnrat now returns to the day job as part of a star-studded field for this inaugural event in Kuala Lumpur.

It is The European Tour International Schedule's second trip to the Malaysian capital this season following the EURASIA CUP presented by DRB-HICOM and represents the 17th consecutive season the European Tour has been in Malaysia.

Aphibarnrat's victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open in 2013 came in the same year that he won The Asian Tour Order of Merit, and he recognises that as the starting point of a European Tour career that brought two further wins last season.

"When I won in Malaysia in 2013, it opened the gates for me to play in Europe and I won the Order of Merit in that same year," he said. "It was great for my career."

Aphibarnrat has shot just two rounds in the 60s this season but has made his last ten cuts and is hoping to find his best form again after sustaining a neck injury as part of the Asia team that lost 18.5-5.5 to Europe the last time he was here.

"My game is good," he said. "I injured my neck at the EurAsia Cup.

"I played the last few weeks in the Middle East. I made the cut but I didn't finish well because I wasn't 100 per cent recovered yet. I'm fully recovered for this week and ready to go.

"You must always try to win in every tournament you play in. But it is true, if you win early in the year, you will have much higher confidence.

"This is a big event with a lot of great players so I'm very happy to be part of it. If I win, I will earn a lot of Official World Golf Ranking points."

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