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Thai golfer uses meditation to improve game

Lim Teik Huat, The Star: Asian Tour legends, a history maker and rising stars from the region are poised to light up the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters.

Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, who holds the world’s 72-hole scoring record, and compatriot Thaworn Wiratchant, an 11-time winner in Asia, will spearhead the elite field in the tournament at the Seri Selangor Golf Club from Aug 4-7.

The Thai duo will be joined in the RM1.2mil event by a pack of talented players, including youngsters Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri of India, Singaporean Quincy Quek and Malaysia’s Akhmal Tarmizee.

Chapchai has been one of Asia’s most exciting players to emerge in recent years and he cemented his place in history by winning the SAIL Open in India last year with a stunning four-round total of 32-under 256.

The big-hitting 27-year-old Thai, nicknamed King Kong, is eager to challenge for a fourth career victory at the Selangor Masters.

“My season started slowly earlier in the year but my form has improved,” said Chapchai.

“I tried to make some swing changes after my victory at the SAIL Open but I couldn’t get used to it. My swing is feeling more comfortable now and I’m confident of doing well.”

While he has yet to miss a cut this season, Chapchai’s best performance was tied 13th at the Queens Cup on home soil in June.

He is also relying on his constant meditation to keep an even keel in his hopes for more glory at the Selangor Masters.

“Meditation helps me to keep my focus and that helps in my overall game. I hope to do my best,” said Chapchai, who finished second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2007.

Bhullar is highly regarded as one of the future stars to emerge from India. He lived up to expectations by claiming a second Asian Tour victory at the season-opening Asian Tour International in Thailand.

His best finish in the Selangor Masters was a tied-32nd place last season and he will be looking forward to better his results.

Thaworn, who has won two Asian Tour titles in Malaysia, is in fine form.

He has missed only one cut this season and will be determined to make amends for not getting to play four rounds at the Selangor Masters last year.

Australia’s Marcus Both, winner of the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open last year, is hoping to turn his season around. The two-time Asian Tour winner has missed four cuts thus far.

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