Some PGA Tour players may not be so kind after a bogey on their last hole of the day. Kiradech Aphibarnrat from Bangkok, Thailand represents his homeland well. The warmth of the Thai people is part of the country’s allure. We don’t connect at our intended interview spot, but he’s gracious to offer the conversation near the valet stand while he waits on his Lexus courtesy car.
“There a bunch of golf courses in Thailand and many more coming in now. Everyone wants to be there now. Great food, nice people and a lot of six-star golf courses. I think Thailand’s one of the best golf destination countries,” Aphibarnrat tells World’s Best Golf Destinations on Friday.
Aphibarnrat’s weekend at Trinity Forest Golf Club progressively improves. He shoots 69 on Thursday, backs that with a 68 on Friday, goes a little lower on Saturday with a 66 and saves his best for last on Sunday with a seven-under 64. He jumps 10 spots in the field on Sunday to finish T5, makes $267,810 and earns critical FedEx Cup points. Only the top 125 players qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs and Aphibarnrat moves from 72nd position to 61st after quality play in Dallas.
Adjustments are key for globetrotting pro golfers Aphibarnrat adds, “In America, the weather is different, the type of grass is different and especially on the PGA Tour, the greens are a lot faster. And especially with the majors, those golf courses will make your head get angry.”
The 29-year-old has four wins on the European Tour, three Asian Tour victories and three top five’s on the PGA Tour in 2019 alone. Aphibarnrat is knocking and next up is the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black—a golf course that can certainly make the head angry.
Aphibarnrat is proud of Thailand and beams when talking about the golf there, “We have so many good ones, but I really like Amata Spring Country Club, southeast of Bangkok in Chon Buri; Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin and Santiburi, on the island of Ko Samui.”
South Korea’s Sung Kang is the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson champion at 23 under par. Aphibarnrat finishes six shots back—he’s currently the No. 41 ranked player in the world and has earned more than $1.3 million in his first full season on the PGA Tour. Aphibarnrat’s a player to watch and his three suggested Thailand golf courses are words to listen to—he’s a professional.