Thongchai to face Kaymer in Maybank

Thongchai Jaidee has confirmed that he’ll be gunning for his third Maybank Malaysian Open title in April – Kaymer or no Kaymer.

Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee has confirmed that he’ll be gunning for his third Maybank Malaysian Open in April against what is expected to be its strongest-ever field headlined by World No 1 Martin Kaymer.

Because the Maybank Malaysian Open, which made history as the first-ever tournament to be co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours in Asia (1999), has, this year, reached a milestone as it celebrates its 50th edition, it has attracted a good many of Europe’s best golfers so Thongchai can expect to face formidable opposition as he attempts to conjure up his third Maybank victory.

Apart from Asian stars like Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia, better known as S.S.P. who recently won the co-sanctioned Avantha Masters against some of the cream of Europe, Thongchai will be up against Germany’s in-form, new World No 1, Kaymer, a Rory McIlroy who is still stuttering but has the potential to be dazzling when he finally gets going, the reigning Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and fellow South African Charl Schwartzel, who many see as his country’s next winner of a Major

The 41-year-old Thonghchai, who only became a professional golfer at 30 after a stint as a paratrooper with the Royal Thai Army, currently holds the record for most wins on the Asian Tour with 13 titles, the most recent of them being the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open which he secured last season.

In 2008 and 2009, the three time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion won twice in each season but he has subsequently voiced his ambition to land a first victory on European soil.

Chowrasia, on the other hand, is only 32 and won’t easily forget his memorable triumph in the Avantha Masters where he defeated a field that included South Africa’s Ernie Els and Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

In the meantime points earned at the Maybank Malaysian Open 2011 will go towards the Asian Tour Order of Merit, and will also be added to the Race to Dubai Ranking which is the qualifier for the rich and elite season-ending Dubai World Championship.