Thongchai Jaidee Turns into First Thai Golfer to win on PGA Tour Champions


Thongchai Jaidee wrote a slice of golf historical past by changing into the primary Thai golfer to win on PGA Tour Champions following a one-stroke victory over Tom Pernice Jr of the US on the American Household Insurance coverage Championship.

Tied for the in a single day lead, the 52-year-old Thongchai signed off with a 4-under 68 for a profitable complete of 14-under 202 at College Ridge — The College of Wisconsin Golf Course to earn his maiden victory on US soil in what was his nineteenth profession begin on PGA TOUR Champions.

Jerry Kelly and 36-hole co-leader Miguel Angel Jimenez had been amongst 4 gamers who completed tied third on Sunday.

“I’m actually very proud of the match right here. Typically all the pieces must be good, you’ll be able to’t anticipate you’ll be able to win… I’m very blissful,” stated a jubilant Thongchai, who had earned a spot on this week’s match after ending T10 in Iowa final weekend.

Together with his lowest 54-hole rating on PGA Tour Champions, Thongchai turned the primary worldwide winner of the American Household Insurance coverage Championship which dates again to 2016 and rose to twelfth place on the Charles Schwab Cup standing. He’s now exempt on the over-50 circuit by way of the tip of 2023 and likewise earned a spot within the 2023 Mitsubishi Electrical Championship in Hualalai.

Thongchai bounced again from a bogey on the par-5, sixteenth gap with a birdie on the par-3, seventeenth after which closed out for victory with a closing par. It turned out to be a gutsy bogey on 16 as he rolled in a protracted putt from simply off the inexperienced for his six.

“Nice match right here,” stated Thongchai, who regained his PGA Tour Champions card final December by ending runner-up in Qualifying College.

“I performed strong, strong, strong. I took one mistake on 16, hit the tree and misplaced the ball. We make good bogey and attempt to get my plan. We have now 215 yards for my fourth shot, I hit 5-iron to the again of inexperienced. I believe good putt from there to make bogey. Holed putt on 17 and the sport modified. 17 was unbelievable. I believe my confidence was within the placing, that’s what helped me quite a bit.”

Rated as certainly one of Asia’s biggest golfers, Thongchai, who was within the Thai military and educated as a paratrooper earlier than turning skilled on the age of 30, holds a number of wins in Asia and has gained eight instances on the DP World Tour. He additionally turned the primary Thai golfer to play within the 2015 Presidents Cup however didn’t earn a PGA TOUR card throughout his heyday, the honour going to Kiradech Aphibarnrat as an alternative.

“I wish to say thanks to my household, sponsors and all of the individuals’s help in Thailand. I believe it’s very troublesome to be on tour,” he stated.

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