With the most wins (15) and second in career earnings with nearly US $3.6 million (ranked 2nd) on the Asian Tour makes Thaworn Wiratchant the best golfer playing full time on the Asian Tour.
Sure there is compatriot Thongchai Jaidee who himself has won 13 times on the Asian Tour and other famous Asians who have won and made a mark on the European and PGA Tours.
But Thaworn is a veteran professional that most young Asian players look up to. The main reason they do is the 45 year old has been out on tour since 1987 (384 official tour starts) and has learnt how to do two things very well.
First he's a low scoring machine; he has lead the most birdies made in a year category in 2005, 2006 and the last six years straight, and secondly he knows how to win tournaments!
He has done this so effectively with arguably the most unorthodox looking swing out there on tour. Thaworn’s full swing has been described as having more “planes” than Thai Airways. So his swing is not aesthetically what most swing coaches teach but it produces a predictable ball flight and it’s repeatable.
But he doesn't win only because he is a birdie machine but because he is without doubt the best short iron, wedge and putter on the Asian Tour which makes him one of the best scrambler and low scorer on the Asian tour as well.
With US $628,131.00 in winnings this year and lying second to Australian Marcus Fraser (US $28,000.00 behind) on the 2012 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, Thaworn is in line to win his second Order Of Merit.
He last won it in 2005 when he had four victories that year on tour.
He has already won three times this year and I wouldn't bet against him winning again especially when two of the last three tournaments are being held in Thailand.
The odds of him clinching the Order Of Merit title have come down when Marcus declared that he would be playing the major tournaments in Australia and not enter the last three tournaments in Asia as the dates clash.
The last three events on the Asian Tour are the Kings Cup next week worth US $500,000.00 followed by the Thailand Golf Championship US $1,000,000.00 and the season ending Iskandar Johor Open US $2,000,000.00.
Now with that much cash up for grabs it still leaves room for someone like India's Gaganjeet Bhullar ranked 4th and US $205,206.00 behind to mount a challenge.
In one of his interviews after winning the Queens Cup earlier in the year he said;
“I regard my golf career as a job and put my best effort into it”.
He also went on to say that when not on the tour he practices from dawn to dusk every day.
When asked why he never tried to change his self taught swing his comeback was “My swing served me well as an amateur (won the Thailand and Singapore Amateur in 1987) as it has during my professional career.
Why would I use someone else’s swing”? Hard to argue with that!
Have a look at how his statistics stack up below in the table and it tells you why he has been so successful for such a long time.
And guess what; they are so close to the Pro Tour Golf College Success Scoring Code of 12-4-2 (12 pars, 4 birdies, 2 bogies average per round) that all students at PTGC understand and keep moving toward at training every day.
Over the last ten years Thaworn has maintained his game by sheer hard work and sharpening his game so that in the last nine holes of the tournament he just hits the required shot and does not focus on how his swing looks.
PTGC Co-Director Lawrie Montague and I watched Wiratchant shoot 61 (9 under) in the 1st round of the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic in April and it was a “clinic” that he put on for the gallery that day.
It was the old adage of “Not how but how many” that came to mind as we watched a golfer who had supreme control of his golf ball.
If you get a chance to watch him play do yourself a favour, it will be entertaining for sure!!
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David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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