Jaidee and Aphibarnrat lead home challenge in Hua Hin


Thongchai Jaidee will be out to go one better than last year and Kiradech Aphibarnrat is also a leading contender to secure victory in his homeland in the True Thailand Classic this week.

Jaidee had to settle for a share of second place behind Andrew Dodt at the Black Mountain Golf Club when the tournament debuted on the European Tour in 2015.

Aphibarnrat was fourth last year and although the best finish he has mustered in the 2016 season was 16th at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, it has already been a memorable year for the 26-year-old as he got married last month.

Australian Dodt will return to Hua Hin to defend the title he won last year to claim his second European Tour title - which was his first for five years - after recovering from illness and will have his brother Anthony on caddying duties.


Form players

It would be no surprise to see Joost Luiten mount a challenge after he finished in the top 15 in all four tournaments he has entered so far this year. Peter Uihlein heads to Hua Hin on the back of finishing joint-fourth in the Perth International, having taken a share of ninth in the Maybank Championship Malaysia. Alexander Levy is one to watch after finishing runner-up in Perth.

Course profile

The undulating Black Mountain Golf Club features many water hazards, but players will be rewarded with true greens if they can stay out of trouble. Warm and dry weather is forecast for this week.

A big week for ...

Jaidee is the highest-ranked player in the tournament and the world number 37's supporters will be expecting him to challenge at the top of the leaderboard after he recovered from a virus.  

Last year's event 

Dodt had to battle through Qualifying School to regain his European Tour for last year and was rewarded when he held off the challenge of Jaidee and Scott Hend by just one shot.

Stat attack

Panuphol Pittayarat and Anthony Wall both made a hole-in-one at the 14th last year.

Players' view

Aphibarnrat, who got married on Valentine's Day and revealed he has not spent a night with his wife since, said: "It's great to be back to play in your home country and to play in front of your fans, family and especially my wife who will come this week. I think she'll come on Sunday as she knows about the prize money and she'll come to collect the money!"

Dodt said: "I love this golf course, the weather is similar to Australia and the course is similar to an Australian course. There's a lot going for me which will help me play well. It fits my eye. I don't know why that is. For some reason, I don't feel like I can hit any bad shot which is a nice feeling which doesn't happen that often."