Thaworn Wiratchant confident of retaining King's Cup title in Pattaya

27 July 2016 10:54

Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant is confident a 20-month gap will not affect his chances of defending the King's Cup title he won in his homeland in 2014.

The tournament returns after a year off to an earlier date in the schedule and is the first to be co-sanctioned under a new formal 'strategic alliance' announced by the European and Asian Tours recently.

Wiratchant won the event at Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club in November 2014 and, although it has moved to Phoenix Gold Golf Club in Pattaya, the 49-year-old hopes to use local knowledge and the extra motivation of national pride to mount a successful defence.

"The King's Cup is a very special event," he told a press conference. "It's the pride of Thailand which we are fighting for and this will further motivate me to play well.

"We Thai players have the local knowledge on this course and that would play to our advantage."

Wiratchant tees off alongside 2008 Masters winner Trevor Immelman, who has slipped to 1,842nd in the world and is looking for something to spark his career back into life.

"Obviously I haven't been playing to the standard that I would like - not through the lack of effort as I've been working very hard," he said.

"I would like to improve and give myself chances to win tournaments so hopefully this can be the week I can put things together and put together some good scores."

Being scheduled against the US PGA Championship, brought forward because of the Olympics, means South African Dean Burmester is the highest-ranked player in the field at 130th and is only one of four inside the world's top 200, with Oxfordshire's Eddie Pepperell being one.

Source: PA