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American "Grip it-and-Rip it" star John Daly has tipped Thai hero Thongchai Jaidee to become Asia's next Major champion.
Daly, a two-time Major winner, will return to the Thailand Golf Championship at the beautiful Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi from December 6-9 where he is part of an outstanding field of international talent which includes Thongchai.
"I think Thongchai Jaidee is probably the most consistent and best Asian player. For an Asian Tour player, he is the most consistent guy and one of the greatest guys I have ever met. He is just a great ambassador for Asia. I just feel like he will soon pick up a Major," said Daly.
Thongchai picked up the biggest win of his stellar career this year when he beat a strong field to lift his first title on European soil at the ISPS Handa Wales Open. The three-time Asian Tour number one will return to the Thailand Golf Championship in good form.
"It has been a very good year for me, better than the other previous years. The Thailand Golf Championship is a very important event for me as it's in my home country. I want to play well there, not only for the fans but also because of the world ranking points. My goal is to break into the world's top-50 and playing well at Amata Spring will help a lot," said Thongchai, who is currently ranked 117th.
Daly will be joined by fellow Americans Hunter Mahan and 2012 Masters Tournament champion Bubba Watson at Amata Spring in one of the most competitive fields ever assembled in the Kingdom. However, Thongchai is confident the home-grown talent can compete with the best.
"I think it is quite a strong field this year. I think anybody can win. I will try my best and I like the course. A couple of Thai players also have a good chance like last year," said Thongchai.
A perennial crowd-favourite, Daly will be looking to improve on his 16th position at last year's inaugural event and is excited about returning to Amata Spring.
"I love Thailand and Bangkok is awesome and the course is exceptional. Lee Westwood was something like 19 under after two rounds last year, but the course is a lot harder than that. It is a great golf course and I look forward to playing there again," he said.
Other notable players teeing up in pursuit of the US$1 milion total prize purse include former world number one Westwood, Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke (2011 Open Champion) and the South African duo of Charl Schwartzel (2011 Masters Champion) and Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Champion).
Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa will be joined by compatriots Shingo Katayama, Yuta Ikeda and Hiroyuki Fujita while Kevin Na and Troy Matteson of US will also tread the fairways at the Championship, rubbing shoulders with leading players from Thailand including Thongchai, Chawalit Plaphol, Prom Meesawat and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
File Photograph Copyright: Asian Tour
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