(Reuters) – Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat is hoping to emerge as a surprise contender at next week’s U.S. Masters following a string of consistent performances over the last two months.
The 28-year-old has been in blistering form since winning the World Super 6 Perth title in February and Richard Mille Brunei Championships earlier this month.
With momentum on his side, Aphibarnrat recorded a tied-fifth finish in the WGC-Mexico Championships before being beaten in last week’s WGC-Dell Match Play in Texas in the quarter finals by eventual winner Bubba Watson.
His performances in the last four months of the season saw him jump from 160th in the world into the top 50 and the result at Texas moved him up to a career-high 29th.
“The way I fought to qualify for the Masters is amazing. Now I want to show the world an Asian can surprise and contend in a major,” he told the Asian Tour website.
“I’ve been comfortable with the way I’ve been playing. I’m feeling very confident and I’ve putted very well lately. I look forward to playing in Augusta. I will try to go earlier and try and feel comfortable on the greens.”
It will be Aphibarnrat’s second appearance at the Augusta National after securing a credible tied-15th on his Masters debut in 2016, his best result at a major so far.
“The goal now is to try and stay inside the top 30 and hopefully earn a PGA Tour card,” he said.
“I will give it my best at The Masters because I have such good memories there. Augusta is a golf course which suits my game and I’ve been playing very well so hopefully it will be another week which I will remember.”
The Masters will be played from April 5-8.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)