Ageless Thai Thongchai Jaidee said Tuesday it would be one of the proudest moments of his life if he could finish a remarkable year inside the European Tour's top 10.
Thai Thongchai Jaidee tees off on the 17th during the first day of the Portugal Masters golf tournament at Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura, southern Portugal, on October 10, 2013
Thongchai heads into this week's $8.5 million World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions in Shanghai playing the most consistent golf of his long career after sharing second place in the $7 million BMW Masters on Sunday.
The man from Lop Buri, who turns 44 at the end of next week, passed one million euros in earnings for the third time on the European Tour by tying on 10-under par with Francesco Molinari behind winner Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano at Lake Malaren.
More significantly for Thongchai, it catapulted him up to sixth place from 21st in the Race to Dubai standings.
The five-time European Tour winner is on course for his best year, despite not winning in 2013.
Now his goal is to stay in the top 10 and grab a share of the $3.75 million bonus pool on offer at the end of the season, which culminates with the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next month.
"I'm now a lot happier with my swing. And finishing runner-up last week helped me jump into the top 10 which is great," he said on Tuesday, after moving the short hop across Shanghai to the Sheshan venue for this week's event.
"I think if I can stay in there by the end of Dubai it would definitely be one of my proudest moments in my life."
Thongchai won twice in 2009 to secure his previous best finish of 19th in the inaugural Race to Dubai.
But 2013 has brought seven top-10 finishes, with the highlight being runner-up to Graeme McDowell in the Volvo World Match Play Championship back in May.
"My performance last week was very good and I'm feeling happy with my game at the moment, especially from tee to green," said Thongchai.
"I have been doing a lot of work with my coach and I think we saw a lot of improvements last week."
Despite his great year Thongchai was controversially overlooked by captain Nick Price for the Internationals Team at the Presidents Cup last month.
But he bounced back from that disappointment in sparkling fashion, carding a six-under round of 66 in the final round of the BMW Masters on Sunday.
The WGC-HSBC Champions, beginning Thursday in Shanghai, is co-sanctioned by the US PGA, European and Asian Tours and features a star-studded field of 78.
The starting line-up reads like a who's who of golf, with current major winners Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson and Jason Dufner joined by Race to Dubai leader and world number four Henrik Stenson.
Other stars of the world game are also signed up, including Rory McIlroy, defending champion Ian Poulter, four-time major winner Ernie Els and young sensations Jordan Spieth of the US and Italy's Matteo Mannasero.
The most notable absentee is world number one Tiger Woods, who has skipped the event despite being in Asia currently.
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