Prayad hopes to make British Open golf memorable

July 11th, 2008 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 11 (IANS) Thai golfer Prayad Marksaeng, currently in the best form of his career, will be hoping to make his second appearance at the British Open at Royal Birkdale in Southport memorable. The Asian Tour star, who won twice in Japan last month and had two other top-three finishes during a five-week purple patch, wants to make up for his US Masters misery when he withdrew from the second round with a back injury.

“I’m hoping to make up for the Masters,” said Prayad. “I am determined to do better at the British Open.”

The 41-year-old has emerged stronger than ever after securing his first two wins in Japan and coming close at the Bangkok Airways Open and Singha Thailand PGA Championship on the Asian Tour before finishing third on both occasions.

His rich vein of form comes at the best possible time ahead of the year’s third major. Prayad is keen to take another crack at links golf after a cold and bitter experience in his maiden outing at Carnoustie in 1999.

“I’m surprised with my recent wins as I’m over 40 now. But I guess I can control my emotions better on the golf course. I’ve got more experience and I’m feeling mentally strong,” said Prayad.

“In 1999, I didn’t have any experience on a links course. After qualifying, I didn’t prepare well at Carnoustie and conditions were really tough. But I’m a totally different player now,” added the stocky Thai, who is a six-time winner on the Asian Tour.

He credited meditation and a putting tip from his young sons for turning his fortunes around after the Masters disappointment. For long, he was tagged the “nearly man” in Japan as he had finished second on numerous occasions.

As part of his meditation process, Prayad counts slowly from one to eight in various blocks before his round to clear his mind while his two sons simply told him to slow down his putting routine.

“My two boys, aged 10 and 13, have been reminding me about my putting. They saw me on TV and asked ‘Papa, why are you putting so fast?’ I never thought about this previously and I’ve slowed down my routine and it has helped,” he said.

Prayad hopes to use the British Open as a launchpad to break the world’s top-50. Currently ranked 71st, he said it is also his goal to make another attempt at qualifying for the US PGA Tour this year.

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