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Phuket: Kiradech secures place at final major

GOLF: Reigning Asian Tour No.1 Kiradech Aphibarnrat has received an invitation to play at next week’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky.

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 30 July 2014, 09:34AM

It will be the Thai’s second consecutive appearance at the year’s final major after finishing tied for 25th last year.

It will also be his second successive major after missing the cut at this month’s British Open.

"He has just got an invitation to play at the PGA Championship,’’ his manager Pimporn Rojsattarat said.

It is good news for Kiradech, who failed to earn an automatic spot at the US$10 million tournament after dropping out of the world’s top 100 a few weeks ago.

The invitation has forced Kiradech to withdraw from this week’s Chiangmai Open on the All Thailand Tour.

Kiradech, who turned 25 last week, has had an unconvincing spell this year after winning his maiden European Tour title in Malaysia last year.

He will leave for the US on Saturday to ensure he has enough time to get used to the weather and course conditions in Louisville.

No.33 Thongchai Jaidee will be the other Thai in the tournament, having earned a berth thanks to his world ranking.

Thongchai will also play at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which begins tomorrow at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.

Laguna Golf Phuket

He is eligible for the US$9 million tournament due to his sixth European Tour win at the Nordea Masters in Sweden last month.

Thongchai has had an impressive season. Following his the Nordea Masters win, he was also second at the French Open and fifth at the BMW International in Germany.

Meanwhile, European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has pulled out of the PGA Championship with a shoulder injury, the Irishman said on Monday.

McGinley has suffered from bursitis in his left shoulder, an affliction which forced him to miss the French Open at the start of this month.

“The scan showed that I really needed to rest my shoulder for a couple of months if I am to address the injury properly and so, because of that, I have regrettably had to withdraw from the US PGA Championship,” said McGinley, who was set to compete after an invitation from the PGA of America.

“It’s a pity because I would have loved to have teed up at Valhalla but I assessed the situation over the past couple of weeks during my family holiday and I think this is the sensible decision.”

The PGA Championship tees off on Aug 7, while the Ryder Cup between Europe and the US begins at Scotland’s Gleneagles on Sept 26. Bangkok Post/Reuters



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