Hua Hin, Thailand, February 22: Thailand’s Sarit Suwannarut is back for his second straight attempt at the Asian Tour Qualifying School this week. From missing out by a mere one-shot last year to standing at the verge of earning his 2020 Asian Tour card now, it has been a steep learning curve for the 22-year-old Thai.
Sarit, who enjoyed a third-place finish in his first Asian Tour event as a professional in 2018, recounts his early years and talks about why Thongchai Jaidee is highly regarded as his mentor in this blog from Hua Hin.
By Sarit Suwannarut
I grew up in Bangkok and I have lived most of my life in Bangkok. I practice mostly at the Thana City Country Club. They have a Singha Academy where you pay like 100 baht and you can hit as many balls as you want. I also play a lot at the Watermill Golf Club. There are the two places that I usually go to.
When I was a junior, my mom told me to pick between joining the National team and going to college in the United States. I have a friend who is an agent that helps to send Thai kids to college. He gave me a good chance for a full scholarship at the Virginia Tech at that time, so I thought ‘why not take it?’
I played there for only two years though, then and I told my mom I want to come back home and turn professional.
The 2018 Thailand Open was the first Asian Tour event that I played after turning professional and I finished third.
At the Qualifying School last year, I missed out on getting my card by only one shot. It was frustrating for sure. I mean, it’s the first year, and your expectations are high. I want to get on the Asian Tour, I want to play in Europe. But it’s changed. I feel more relaxed coming back to the Qualifying School this year.
To prepare for Q-School this year I just practiced as per normal. I didn’t think the wind was going to be this tough. It was windy as well last year but it’s not this strong. We have to practice a lot of low balls to play well out there, so that’s what I am working on.
The wind hasn’t really been the same every day, you can feel like it’s into the wind when you try to figure it out, but when you hit it, it might be down wind. The wind keeps changing, like every second, so it’s tough.
I’m happy to be in a good spot after three rounds. I will be aiming to finish inside the top-five on Sunday. I mean I’m not thinking about top-35, I still can play bad in the next two rounds but I should aim high and try to catch up with the leader. I think I’m able to do that.
My favourite player is Tiger Woods. Everyone loves Tiger. I look up to him because what he has achieved is incredible. If I have to pick a favourite player from Thailand, I would pick Thongchai Jaidee. I like Thongchai, I’m pretty close to his son and I play with him quite a bit.
Thongchai came from nothing to being one of the best, it just shows how tough a player he is! Thongchai’s a cool guy, he showed me the way he practices and it’s amazing to see how much he has achieved in his career.