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Impressive Sadom shines at St Andrews

Impressive Sadom shines at St Andrews

GOLF: Amidst the excitement of the thrilling finish to the British Open at St Andrews last Sunday (July 17), won in scintillating fashion by Australia’s Cameron Smith, we should not overlook the fine performance of Thai golfer Sadom Kaewkanjana who finished in joint 11th place in his first appearance in the championship.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 23 July 2022, 02:30PM

Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana watches his drive from the 2nd tee during his third round on day 3 of The 150th British Open Golf Championship on The Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland on July 16, 2022. Photo: Paul Ellis / AFP

Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana watches his drive from the 2nd tee during his third round on day 3 of The 150th British Open Golf Championship on The Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland on July 16, 2022. Photo: Paul Ellis / AFP

The 24-year-old shot a brilliant seven-under-pr 65 in the final round on the hallowed course to finish on 11-under for the tournament.

“I played very well today. Everything was perfect,” said a beaming Sadom after his round of six birdies, an eagle and a bogey.

“I am happy if I can make Thai people proud.”

In his first three rounds, he had shot 71, 67 and 74, reports the Bangkok Post.

It is the best-ever performance by a Thai man in a major, beating Thongchai Jaidee’s 13th place in the 2009 British Open at Turnberry.

Appropriately enough, Thongchai, who is playing in this week’s British Senior Open at Gleneagles, was on hand to cheer on his compatriot in the final round.

“Thongchai has always been my idol,” said Sadom.

“He gave me some great advice before the round and followed me around which inspired me.”

The 52-year-old Thongchai remains the only Thai to have played in all four majors.

Last month, he also became the first Thai to win on the PGA Tour Champions (formerly Senior PGA Tour).

Earlier, Sadom had said he was just happy to be at St Andrews.

“To be playing in the 150th Open Championship at the home of golf is a thrill,” he said.

He had a tough introduction on the first morning being in the second flight of the day with a 6:46am tee-off time which required an unwelcome 3:30am wake-up call.

Sadom admitted: “I was quite nervous at the start” in the opening round and he was three over by the 11th hole.

But his confidence grew on the back nine and with birdies at the final two holes, he rallied to a one-under 71 in his first-ever round at the great course.

Despite the unfamiliar links environment, Sadom looked remarkably confident throughout the tournament and his fine showing has pushed him up to 96th in the world rankings.

“I like the course and felt relaxed,” he said, adding he was particularly pleased with his putting.

CBRE Phuket

Sadom had earned his place in the Open after winning the Singapore Open, one of two Asia Tour titles he has to his name, earlier this year.

Meanwhile, much has been written about Smith’s superb performance in overhauling Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy to win the Claret Jug.

Suffice to say it is great having a winner who calls everyone “mate” and whose main concern at the finish appeared to be how much beer you could get into the Claret Jug.

It was not as if McIlroy played that badly but his birdie putts simply would not go down.

In contrast, Smith’s putter came on fire at the turn and no one could answer those five consecutive birdies on such a challenging putting surface.

To shoot 64 on the final day at St Andrews is simply amazing.

“It’s unreal to look at all he names on this trophy and then see mine,” said Smith.

McIlroy showed his magnanimous nature, commenting: “I got beaten by the better player this week. Hat’s off to Cam.”

The Northern Irishman added: “At the end of the day, it’s not life or death.”

However, it must hurt.

There was a great atmosphere at St Andrews with the huge crowds really involved and applauding good play.

But one thing we could have done without was the growing number of people yelling out the tiresome “get in the hole” after a player makes his drive.

In former times such crass behaviour would never be tolerated at the Open and it appears to have been influenced by the raucous crowds at recent Ryder Cup events.

It is no secret that top professional golf is entering an extremely difficult time.

The status quo is very much under threat as the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series continues to attract more and more players from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) with its riches.

There could be messy times ahead.

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