Aphibarnrat starts strong at Oak Hill

Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Kiradech Aphibarnrat ( Associated Press )

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is playing in just his second major championship this week at Oak Hill.

The 24-year-old from Bangkok missed the cut at the Open Championship last month. But he's gotten his second major off to a much better start.

Aphibarnrat shot 2-under 68 Thursday, making three birdies and just one bogey. It's a contrast to Muirfield, when he bogeyed his second hole of the tournament and "lost confidence quickly." He would shoot 72-85 and miss the cut.

What Aphibarnrat has taken away from that experience, though, is learning to stay patient and not trying force anything. He's also leaned on fellow Thai player Thongchai Jaidee for advice.

"He helps me a lot," Aphibarnrat said. "He helps me practice and he has a lot of experience to teach me."

While Aphibarnrat, who won his first European Tour event earlier this season at the Maybank Malaysian Open, is getting accustomed to major championships, golf fans are learning more about him, as well.

Aphibarnrat might be fun to say, but apparently he's also fun to watch on the golf course, and he's picked up more than a few fans with a strong showing early at Oak Hill.

"I think I feel it a bit (that I'm picking up more fans). . . . but I quite enjoy to play these two weeks," Aphibarnrat said.