LYTHAM ST ANNES,( England) Thongchai Jaidee has taken a grip of his golf game, literally, and hopes his new-found confidence can help him challenge at the British Open, an event he was not even due to play in a month ago.
The 42-year-old Thai, galvanised by a tip from his coach, has made 10 consecutive cuts in Asia and Europe since mid-April and won the Wales Open at Celtic Manor in June.
“This week’s British Open was not on my schedule,” said Thongchai on Tuesday. “I never thought about qualifying as I didn’t know about the mini-ranking on the European Tour.
“I’m surprised I have got in. This week is a special week and I’m looking forward to it.”
Thongchai booked his appearance at the third major of the year after finishing in the top two in a mini European Tour money list following the Irish Open two and a half weeks ago.
Injuries led to a loss of form last season but Thongchai is now fully fit again and advice from coach Peter Wolfenstetter in Seville in May has made a huge difference to his game.
“I used to hold the club in my palm and the grip was loose sometimes when I hit the ball,” said the triple Asian Tour number one. “Now I use my fingers more to hold the club.
“I’m more confident now. After Seville I won in Wales … it was amazing as it came so fast.
“I have always dreamt of winning in Europe and now I’ve done it. I’ve got two more years of exemption and I can concentrate on winning more tournaments,” added Thongchai.