Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat fired a sixth and final round of seven-under-par 64 to retain his DP World Tour card for next season following the conclusion of the gruelling qualifying school final stage at Infinitum Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain, on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old, who was ranked in the world's top 50 a few years ago and held a PGA Tour card for four seasons, finished tied 14th to be among the top 25 and ties to safely secure their jobs for 2024. "Feeling great to shoot seven under in the final round and to earn my DP World Tour card again," said a delighted Kiradech.
"I have to give myself a big round of applause because I put myself in a good start, stayed patient and didn't get nervous as I tried to control myself and make sure I hit the ball at the right spot. The thing I did today was one of the best rounds of the season."
This is the second year in a row the big-hitting Thai, who is a four-time DP World Tour winner, needed to go back to qualifying school to secure his playing privileges after he lost his PGA Tour card in 2022.
Now that his job is secure for another season, he is confident he can get back to his glory days and challenge for a fifth DP World Tour title in the coming season.
"I don't think my game is far off -- just need one good week. I really pushed myself back on tour again two times in a row. I know there's something good ahead and I'm still looking for my fifth title," said Kiradech, whose last win was achieved in 2018.
With his mother on the golf course to cheer him on, Kiradech said he also enjoyed playing alongside Sebastian Garcia of Spain who fired a spectacular 62 to also secure his card.
The Thai started the final round one stroke outside the top 25 bracket but his stellar finish saw him end the week on 18-under 410, nine shots back of medallist Freddy Schott of Germany.
"It's like an extra charger when you have her [mother] around and I want to make everyone happy. After the round, she had enough smiles and we're going to have a big Thai dinner celebration later," he laughed.
"To be honest, I did not think about what score I was supposed to shoot because I know everyone was going to get the nerves and excitement. I just tried working my golf swing on the range, make sure I hit the right spots."