Aphibarnrat wins Asian Tour money title, sets sights on majors

Kiradech Aphibarnrat during the Volvo Golf Champions.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat during the Volvo Golf Champions. ( Getty Images )

Monday, January 20, 2014

Kiradech Aphibarnrat officially won the Asian Tour's Order of Merit following Sunday's season finale, the King's Cup.

Aphibarnrat did not play in the finale in Hua Hin, Thailand, opting instead to the play the European Tour's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, where he missed the cut. But the 24-year-old from Thailand still earned $1.12 million behind one victory and five other top-5 finishes, becoming just the second player on the Asian Tour to earn more than a million dollars in a single season.

"When I turned pro in 2009, I was just trying to keep my card to continue having the opportunity to play year after year," Aphibarnrat said. "But the top Thai players like Thongchai (Jaidee) and Thaworn (Wiratchant) all won the Order of Merit titles and I always hoped that one day, I could also have the opportunity to win the Merit title."

Aphibarnrat is currently 60th in the Official World Golf Ranking. He's already exempt into the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the Open Championship thanks to his Order of Merit title. And if he maintains his current ranking, he will also qualify for next month's WGC-Accenture Match Play.

The top 50 in the OWGR the week before the Masters earn invitations to Augusta if not already in the field.

"I cannot say if I will win a major, but it is my goal to win one for sure," said Aphibarnrat, who tied for 25th at the 2013 PGA Championship.

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