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Kiradech creates history, becomes the first Thai Golfer to earn PGA membership card

European Tour
Posted by Admin 19 Jun 2018

Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat has etched his name in the footnotes of history by becoming the first ever Thai Golfer to earn PGA membership card.



Kiradech Aphibarnrat



He equalled his best finish in the majors by finishing 15th at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Sunday and has unofficially earned his PGA TOUR card for next season.


The 28-year-old Kiradech closed with a 3-over 73 in the final round, which included a closing birdie on the demanding 18th hole for a four-day total of 9-over 289. He emerged as the leading Asian, finishing one stroke ahead Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (66) and Haotong Li of China (69) who were amongst those in T16.



“It was a tough day. I didn’t hit enough fairways or greens unlike the third round and that makes it tough here. I’m happy with my final position as I wanted top-30 but I’m quite disappointed I didn’t put any pressure on the leaders at all. I was three shots back at the start of the day but I didn’t stay in contention,” said Kiradech, who had finished T15 at the 2016 Masters Tournament.



Kiradech Aphibarnrat



Kiradech, a former Asian Tour No. 1, turned in one-over with three bogeys against two birdies but battled to stay within the top-15 despite three more dropped shots. He signed off with an 18-foot birdie conversion on 18, which was ranked the toughest hole during the final round.



“This week was all about being patient and positioning the ball well. But I think I tried to control my game too much today to avoid the trouble and it didn’t work out. I wasn’t as aggressive as I would normally play,” said Kiradech, who rose two rungs to 29th in the latest Official World Golf Ranking.


As a Special Temporary Member of the PGA TOUR, Kiradech earned an equivalent of 61 FedExCup points to increase his season’s tally to 401 points. Last season, the 125th ranked player, J.J. Henry, kept his TOUR card by earning 365 points which put Kiradech firmly in position to secure his PGA TOUR card for 2018-19.



“I think I got that unofficially. I was told 380 points would probably be good for this season (to reach the 125th ranked position),” said Kiradech.



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