Aphibarnrat targets Tour double

Kiradech Aphibarnrat believes that putting will be of crucial importance this week when he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy and win consecutive European Tour events.

Aphibarnrat won the Shenzhen International last week and will tee off at the Volvo China Open in Shanghai on Thursday.

Should he pull off another victory, it will be the first Tour double since McIlroy’s in August 2014.

“I’m obviously swinging it well so I won’t be changing anything. I’ll try to remember the good feeling I had when I made the winning putt on Sunday, and try to carry that through with me this week,” Aphibarnrat told the European Tour website

“(The course is) in great shape but the greens are very tricky. The key this week will be putting, because if you’re in the wrong place on the greens, you can easily three-putt.

“If you can avoid the mistakes and take your chances, you can score well on this course. Some of the fairways are quite wide and a few of the holes favour longer hitters, so that should suit me well.”

Aphibarnrat will not be the only big name teeing off at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club this week.

The Thai will be joined by Ryder Cup stars Nicolas Colsaerts, David Howell, Ross Fisher, Edoardo Molinari, Oliver Wilson, Søren Hansen, Peter Hanson and Paul Lawire.

Li Hao-tong, the 19-year-old Chinese prodigy Aphibarnrat beat in a play-off to win the Shenzhen International, will also take part.

“I think I still need more experience in this kind of situation, because I have never been in such a winning position before,” Li said.

“It was good experience – maybe it’s the price I have to pay for my age. I still have a long way to go, and I still have many tournaments ahead.

“I am still myself, and it also helps that I have a great team around me and my family to support me.”

The teenager is bidding to become the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil.