Thongchai Jaidee (Getty Images)
Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee hopes to continue his excellent start to the season when the Avantha Masters gets underway at the Jaypee Greens Golf Course on Thursday.
The 43 year old has had three top-ten finishes in five starts this season to climb to 23rd on The Race to Dubai, but Jaidee needs to extend that run if he is to make a third trip to Augusta National next month.
Currently 59th in the Official World Golf Ranking, the top 50 players on April 1 will receive invites to the Masters Tournament, and a victory in India would all but guarantee Jaidee’s place.
“I’ve never played much in India since winning the Indian Open in 2001,” said the former paratrooper, who won his first title outside Asia at last year’s Wales Open.
“I’ve been travelling all over the world but now that I’m back, I’ll try my best to win.
"It’s an important week for me as I want to break into the top 50 and get into the Masters. I’m very comfortable with my swing and if I can putt well, I believe I stand a good chance."
Jaidee will have to overcome no fewer than six Ryder Cup players in Greater Noida, with Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, Spain’s Ignacio Garrido, England’s David Howell, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Frenchman Thomas Levet and Welshman Philip Price all in the field.