Rejuvenated Jaidee ready to challenge

Thongchai Jaidee is keen to make up for missing the cut last week in Malaysia and he believes the weekend’s rest will benefit his bid to win the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open.

Thongchai Jaidee is keen to make up for missing the cut last week in Malaysia and he believes the weekend’s rest will benefit his bid to win the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open.

The Thai, who won in Malaysia in 2004 and 2005 and finished second last year, surprisingly failed in Kuala Lumpur after bogeys at the last two holes in his second round saw him finish on five over, three strokes above the cut mark.

That disappointing performance cost the 36-year-old a spot at the WGC-Accenture Match Play as he dropped three spots in the official world golf ranking to 72nd but early finish allowed him to recharge his batteries after a playing in events for five consecutive weekends.

“I was tired because of the time difference after I came back from Dubai,” explained Jaidee.

“I was at the Royal Trophy, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur – five weeks. So I was tired and lost my form slightly, but I’m back this week and I’m better now because I’ve adjusted back to the time difference.”

Missing the cut allowed Jaidee to take his mind off golf for the weekend and unwind in the Malaysian capital before travelling down to Jakarta to play at Damai Indah Golf and Country Club.

“I left my golf bag in the hotel and went sightseeing, had dinner and shopping with my friends in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

“It was a good break and then I arrived in Jakarta on Sunday night. We arrived early and I had a good practice on Monday, playing nine holes.”

Despite failing to qualify for the WGC Match Play, Jaidee remains confident of achieving his main aim for this year – to reach the top 50 and qualify automatically for the Masters in April.

“My schedule is tight and I will have to see how I perform this week but I hope to perform well and be in the top 50 because my main aim is to play in the Masters,” he said.

The Thai is confident of a good performance after getting plenty of practice on the 7,120-yard par-71 Pantai Indah Kapuk course.

“Last December, we stayed here for a few days and we went out on course. The course is good and I’m happy to be playing here.

“The greens are perfect and the fairways are nice. From the tee to green, it is perfect. If my iron play is good, I’m putting well, and striking the ball good, then I have a chance.”

Defending champion Simon Dyson was also impressed with the Robert Trent Jones-designed layout.

“The whole set up is fantastic. I think there are some really good holes out there,” said the Yorkshireman, who claimed a two-stroke victory at Emerelda Golf and Country Club last year.

“It would be a lot more interesting if it were a lot more bouncy as it’s a bit like target golf at the moment because it is so soft.

“But you have to drive the ball well and you have got to hit good iron shots in. The greens are pretty slopey and pretty quick so they are going to be hard to read and hard to hole putts on. I think it’s going to be a pretty good golf test.”

The event is co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox