Sadom composed ahead of restart
Thai among stars at Blue Canyon event
published : 24 Nov 2021 at 04:00
newspaper section: Sports
Phuket: Thailand's Sadom Kaewkanjana has hit a purple patch, winning four times in two months, and hopes to capitalise on his brilliant run when he competes in this week's US$1million Blue Canyon Phuket Championship in what is the Asian Tour's first event after a 19-month hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Two wins on the All Thailand Golf Tour last month and two this month -- including the Thailand Open -- have propelled the 23-year-old into the spotlight but further success is far from the rising star's thoughts at the moment.
"I felt a lot of pressure when I won the tournaments over the past four months," said Sadom.
"So, I don't want to feel like that this week. I just want to make the cut first. I will just focus on enjoying the game and not think about the result."
Sadom is already a winner on the Asian Tour, claiming the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open in 2019. Having made it through the qualifying school that year, the Thai became the fastest graduate to win on the tour but victory this week in a tournament featuring an impressive line-up would be a huge step up.
Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond, Scott Hend from Australia, American John Catlin, Malaysian Gavin Green and teenage South Korean star Kim Jooh-Yung are just some of the leading players competing.
"I don't think about winning or anything like that because that puts a lot of pressure on me," Sadom said.
Apart from some slight adjustments to his short game, he is not able to identify exactly why his form has peaked recently.
"I don't really know why I have been playing so well. I am just trying to enjoy the game, each tournament, every round. I just focus on my game, shot by shot. I haven't really changed anything, but just improved my short game," he said.
"Last year my short game was so so but this year I had more time to practise my short game. I just changed my set up a little bit and I am more confident."
The Blue Canyon Phuket Championship tees off tomorrow on the Canyon Course at Blue Canyon Country Club, while the Laguna Phuket Championship will be staged the following week at Laguna Golf Phuket.
Sadom won at both of those venues in October, although his win at Blue Canyon came on the Lakes Course.
When he claimed the Thailand Open earlier this month, he became only the sixth player from Thailand to lift the famous trophy.
Both Phuket events boast prize money of $1million and will be followed by two events being planned in Singapore in January that will bring to a conclusion the 2020-21 season.
Miguel Tabuena, who has returned from a long stint in the United States to compete in the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship, is aiming to be in contention on Sunday despite limited playing opportunities this year.
The two-time Asian Tour winner has camped in Washington for much of the year and got back to the region for this week's tournament.
The Filipino has been starved of playing opportunities because of the pandemic, but when he competed in an event run by the PGA of America in September, he seized the opportunity by winning it.
"The game is there. I've been seven or eight months away from this heat. I am just trying to preserve my body as well as I can although I am pretty used to it and I know what to expect," added the 27-year-old.
The second of his Asian Tour wins came in Thailand at the Queen's Cup in 2018 so he is in a good space this week. "It's good to be back playing again, especially in Thailand. Hopefully, I can contend," he said. "I always play to contend. I want to be in a situation where I can win on Sunday."