Melbourne - Thai veteran star Thongchai Jaidee may bid adieu to his ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf career after he and partner Kiradech Aphibarnrat closed with a six-under-par 66 in the fourball session on Sunday.
Making his fifth appearance in the prestigious team event at Kingston Heath Golf Club, the 47-year-old triple Asian Tour number one was disappointed the team failed to make a strong impression this week, struggling in the foursomes sessions on Thursday and Saturday.
“I’m not sure about my future in the World Cup but I would like to see the young kids play for Thailand. Kiradech will be our future. He’s still in his 20s, and he’s going to be the leading golfer from Asia and Thailand. This might be my last World Cup,” said Thongchai, whose best finish in the event was tied seventh in 2008.
The former paratrooper is ready to put his tools down for a well-earned break after another long season plying his trade around the world which saw him lift a fourth title on European soil when he won the French Open in July.
“I think we were both a bit tired this week, we couldn’t do too much on the golf course. Kiradech helped me a lot today, he made a lot of birdies and gave the team confidence. He was good. My body was weak, and I couldn’t play my normal game. Lost concentration some times and made some mistakes on the greens,” said Thongchai.
Big-hitting Kiradech is looking forward to returning to the World Cup of Golf to redeem himself. “I’ve struggled with my game the past few weeks but the opportunity to play with Thongchai this week was good. We were a bit tired, we’re supposed to be a good team so we’re disappointed with the results,” said the 2013 Asian Tour number one.
“We enjoyed ourselves even though we didn’t play our A-game. I’d love to come back to the World Cup with Thongchai if I get the opportunity again.”
Team Malaysia produced their best round of the week with a final round 66, with six birdies on the card. Debutant Nicholas Fung was delighted he and partner Danny Chia closed with a respectable score after struggling in the foursomes, particularly on day one when they shot a 77.
“To come back with a six under, it’s a pretty good score. I love this golf course, hopefully I will be back here again some day to play in the World Cup of Golf. I’ve kept my card on the Asian Tour and I’m looking forward to finishing the year strongly and hopefully get a win next season,” said Fung, who is currently ranked 14th on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.
India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia and Chikkarangappa S. conceded they made too many errors in the foursomes sessions on Thursday and Saturday after ending their campaign with a 68.
Chawrasia, a double winner on the Asian Tour this season, said: “It’s a great experience. We made lots of mistakes but I think we learned a lot with the top guys being in the field. I’ll like to come and play in another World Cup of Golf.”
Chikkarangappa echoed similar sentiments. “It’s a good experience. I learned so many things that I will take it back home with me. Due to the format which we’re not used to generally, coming over here and playing with SSP, we enjoyed ourselves although we would have wanted to play better.
“I’m sure the experience will carry on and hopefully we’ll do better. We played good but just had mistakes here and there. The dream would be to come back.”