School's out for Thai golfer Ratchanon, 14
published : 5 Feb 2022 at 22:06
Most kids would be star-struck by simply watching the best professional golfers up close, but 14-year-old Ratchanon Chantananuwat went much further by becoming the only amateur to make the cut at the Saudi International on Saturday.
The Thai has made the cut on Asian Tour events before but even as his rivals out-drive him with ease, he is learning a lot from playing alongside experienced professionals like Briton Lee Westwood and Australian Cameron Smith.
"I'm very fortunate. I'm probably one of the few people, if not the only kid, to get to play these tournaments often," Ratchanon told reporters after the third round where he is tied for 53rd at four-over-par.
"I guess to the other 14-year-olds or kids younger than me, I think (they) just come watch. You won't get the experience, you won't get to play yourself, but you'll definitely get to see different things."
By his own admission, four weeks away from school has been "really costly academic-wise". Although Ratchanon hates maths, he hopes learning physics will help him on the greens, as well as psychology.
"It doesn't help me, with my emotions, when I've got water on the left and bunker on the right and a 100 people watching," he said on choosing psychology.
Ratchanon, who picked up a golf club when he was four years old, still has dreams of going to college in the United States.
"I'm not 100% sure yet because I'm not even sure what subject I'm going to choose," he added. "I'm literally still too young. They can't even contact me!"