Defending champion Itthipat on a mission to retain Boonchu Ruangkit Championship


Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 21: Defending champion Itthipat Buranatanyarat will aim to iron out his iron game ahead of the season-opening Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which is set to tee-off on Thursday.

The Thai ended a three-year title drought when he clinched last year’s curtain raiser on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) circuit, courtesy of a two-shot victory.

Itthipat had a decent 2019 with five top-10 finishes which ensued after that, but feels he has to yet to raise his game in 2020.

The 26-year-old has already played in two events this year, missing the cut at the Hong Kong Open before finishing tied-52 at the SMBC Singapore Open.

“My game is okay, not too bad but not too good either. I am definitely looking to play better as defending champion.

“One thing I need to improve on is my iron shots. Everything was so good last year. This year I changed my driver and I should be hitting better,” said Itthipat.

The 2020 ADT season will again aspire to unravel and hone some of the brightest and upcoming talents in the region.

Joohyung Kim, Gavin Green and Chan Shih-chang are just some of the golfers who started their careers on Asian golf’s secondary circuit and went on to win the Asian Tour.

This event also takes on added significance by the fact it was incepted in the honour of Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit in 2014.

Established Thai golfers like Kiradech Aphibarnat have participated and praised the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship in the past, commending how the Thai legend and Thongchai Jaidee have been good mentors to him.

Inspired by Boonchu, Thongchai went on to host his own tournament in 2015.

Fascinatingly enough, the 50-year-old Thai veteran will among the names lined up at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

“Thongchai is a good addition to this event. He knows the players and understands what the fans want. He will make this a good event,” said Itthipat of Thongchai.

Pannakorn Uthaipas, who won twice on the ADT circuit last year, will be among the favourites to triumph at the curtain raiser.

Japan’s Ryuichi Oiwa, Korea’s Seung Park and Oscar Zetterewall of Sweden will also be expected to contend for the title.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

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