Q and A with Itthipat | Asian Tour

Q and A with Itthipat

Published on April 21, 2021

Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat is another of his country’s emerging young players – as demonstrated by his three wins on the Asian Development Tour (ADT). We spoke to him at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship, the All Thailand Golf Tour and ADT event he claimed in 2019, earlier this year and got up to speed on what he has been up to.

COVID-19 has made life difficult for everyone. How has it been for you Itthipat?

I have tried to take the positives out of it and spend more time with my family, which has been great. I still kept practicing and working out. I am a professional golfer so it’s my routine. During the pandemic, I had a lot more time to play golf in Thailand and meet many people.

I also did some teaching but nothing too serious. I just wanted to give something back to the community and help people enjoy golf more. Most were junior golfers between 4-15 years old. I received positive feedback and really enjoyed it.

How much have you enjoyed playing on the Asian Tour?

The Asian Tour has been great for me, even though I lost my Tour card after playing a few seasons. But, I got my card back again in 2020 and had the opportunity to play in three big tournaments: the Hong Kong Open, the SMBC Singapore Open and the Bandar Malaysian Open. It was a great experience playing with many big-name players in those events. I was very satisfied with my performance before the season was put on hold because of the  pandemic.

Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

You have put in some good performance on the Asian Tour. What are the areas of your game you have to work on to improve?

After returning to the Asian Tour, I have tried my best to improve everything. Then during the pandemic, I had a lot more time to practice on my own. And having taken such a long break without any competition, I have had more time to prepare myself and get ready for the Tour restart.

You won the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship in 2019, probably the biggest win of your career. How important was the victory for you?

The Boonchu Ruangkit Championship is co-sanctioned between the All Thailand Golf Tour and the Asian Development Tour (ADT). It meant a lot to me; I felt like it unlocked and improved my game. It also helped me claim the All Thailand Golf Tour Order of Merit that year and finish in the top-five on the ADT Order of Merit – which allowed me to get my Asian Tour card and return to the Tour again.

Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

What are your memories of that week and did you have a feeling you could win?

At that time, I did not think about winning but I remember that it was one of my best performances. I played without pressure in the final round. I just tried to concentrate and focus on my game. I could go out and play, enjoy and have fun. It was the key to my success.

How old were you when you started playing, and who taught you?

I started playing golf when I was 10 years old. My first teacher was a former national golfer, Sitthichon Samransuk. My father taught me as well when I was a kid. I followed him to the driving range and one day I told him that I wanted to try a swing, so he got me a club and I hit it. It was not too hard from the beginning because I like sports and my family have always supported me.

Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

Who was your golfing idol growing up?

When I was young, my idol was Tiger Woods. He is a super talented golfer and one of the most inspirational golfers. In Thailand my idol is Boonchu Ruangkit, he is a legend in Thailand and like a big brother for all Thai golfers as well.

What are your plans and objectives in the future?

I want to keep playing on the Asian Tour and I’m aiming to win an event, I think I have a chance to do that in the future. I also look forward to playing in Japan, as that is part of my plan. However, my big goal is to play on the European and PGA Tours, but I will have to do really well on the Asian Tour, that would be the first step. During the pandemic, I also started to think about setting up a small business in the future.