THAILAND’S PROM LIVING OUT HIS DREAM AT THE BRITISH OPEN

Prom Meesawat’s childhood dream of competing in a Major championship will become a reality when he makes his maiden appearance at the British Open this week.The 26-year-old, who earnestly followed the world’s oldest Major from the comforts of his living room previously, will be part of an elite field at Royal St George’s after he earned his place by winning the International Final Qualifying – Asia in February. “I learned about the British Open when I was a junior golfer and I have only been watching the Majors on TV. It’s great now that I’m going to play in one,” said Prom, who holds one victory on the Asian Tour.

Following his maiden success in Korea in 2006, Prom has struggled to regain his winning form but four top-10s this season has provided the much-needed confidence ahead of his Major campaign.Sessions with Thai sports psychologist Dr Pichit Namuangpo, who also looks after the national boxers, has put Prom in a good frame of mind these days.“It’s a good comeback to play the Open after my dip in form the last few years,” said Prom, who is nicknamed the ‘Big Dolphin’ due to his burly physique and because he comes from the coastal town of Hua Hin, south of Bangkok.

“Previously, when I didn’t play well, I started getting negative thoughts. When I got to the tee box, I would think if I was going to end up left or right with my shots. Now, I’m more relaxed. I focus hard on my routine. I’ve managed to cut out the bad things in my head. These are part of the things I’ve learnt (from Dr Pichit),” said Prom.The Thai, whose entourage includes his wife, caddie, manager and coach, hopes he will be able to tackle and overcome the blustery conditions which are often linked with the British Open.

“I know that it’s going to be very windy and it’s probably the toughest condition in any Major. I’ll try to play good, do my best when I’m there,” said Prom.“I’ve played the Dunhill Links Championship in 2008 previously which is held at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. But I think the set up for the Open will be different. The rough will certainly be longer and the greens could be faster,” said Prom. “In Hua Hin (several weeks ago), it rained and I put on my rain gear to put in some practice of playing in the rain and with the rain-gear on. We don’t get much rain in Hua Hin. So I just practiced in those conditions although I know it won’t be the same in the Open.

“The winds will be strong and I’ll be working on my low shots. I enjoyed playing links golf during my previous trip (to Scotland) and I will try to use that experience for the Open,” added the Thai.Without any huge expectations hanging over him, Prom believes it will play to his advantage as he makes his Major bow. “I’m not going to put pressure on myself and keep to my game plan. I’ll be trying my best and see what happens,” said Prom.Prom’s countrymen Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng will also be at Royal St George’s along with reigning Asian Tour number one Noh Seung-yul of Korea, Japanese veteran Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing and American Jason Knutzon.