Jaidee ready to shine at Avantha Masters

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2013, 15:04 PM IST

Greater Noida: Three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will be looking to reignite his winning ambitions when he tees up at the 1.8 million euro Avantha Masters at the Jaypee Greens Golf Course March 14-17.

The Thai star, currently ranked 58th in the world, has enjoyed a flying start to his 2013 campaign with three successive top-10s in South Africa and the Middle East. The 43-year-old also enjoyed a memorable 2012 campaign when he notched his first victory on European soil with his triumph at the ISPS Handa Wales Open.

A second win in India could be timely for Jaidee as his last win in the subcontinent came in 2001 at the Indian Open.

"I`m looking forward to going back to India to compete at the Avantha Masters. I`ve been playing well since the start of the year and hoping my good form will translate into a win for me," said Jaidee, who holds an unprecedented three Merit crowns and 13 titles in Asia.

Jaidee suffered a setback when he was knocked out by Spain`s Sergio Garcia in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play championship last month. But he is expected to bounce back when the Avantha Masters gets underway.

The local charge will be spearheaded by Jeev Milkha Singh, Asia`s No.1 in 2006 and 2008, as well as Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who have a combined total of six Asian Tour victories.

Other Asian Tour stars expected to vie for top honours include Singapore`s Mardan Mamat, a three-time Asian Tour winner, Sweden`s Rikard Karlberg, Australia`s Scott Hend and Korean-American David Lipsky.

The Avantha Masters will be played at a new venue this year with the event being staged at the Greg Norman-designed Jaypee Greens Golf Course here. The course features 14 water hazards and 88 bunkers and, at 7,347 yards, is India`s longest golf course.