.Turned professional late, as he served as a Ranger in the Royal Thai Army, regularly making parachute drops. He was allowed to play plenty of golf and enjoyed a distinguished amateur career. When he was younger he represented his home province in football. Adored football great Pele before getting hooked to golf. First club was a three iron head stuck on a bamboo stick. After winning the Carlsberg Malaysian Open, the Thai government presented him with a diplomatic passport. . .Thongchai successfully defended his Carlsberg Malaysian Open title in February, 2005 as he got his new season off to a good start. In 2004, Thongchai enjoyed another highly successful year. After finishing 2003 strongly with victory in the Volvo Masters of Asia on home soil in December, he went on to win the Myanmar Open and Carlsberg Malaysian Open back-to-back in February. The Malaysian triumph made him the first Thai to win on the European Tour as the event was co-sanctioned. Victory was made more memorable as he aced the 16th hole in the final round. He also finished in the top-10 in four other events from December to March, another highlight was outscoring Ernie Els in the opening two rounds of the Dubai Desert Classic and then finishing tied fifth alongside Tiger Woods. He played in Europe and finished 43rd on the money ranking and then wrapped up his 2004 season by winning the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown with record earnings of $381,929 from nine events. In 2004, he also played in The Memorial and the US PGA Championship, the year's final Major, after receiving invites. Missed the cut in both. In 2001 he also won the Order of Merit title in Asia, beating Korea's Charlie Wi. Thongchai prevailed, thanks to his win in the Wills Indian Open and no fewer than 10 other top-10 finishes. That year he also made headlines for qualifying and playing in all four rounds of the U.S. Open. Also played in the British Open in 2002, but had to withdraw on the second day because of injury. Came close to beating Scotland's Colin Montgomerie in the 2002 TCL Classic in China before finishing second. The Scot said Thongchai was the best Asian he'd played with. Was part of the Asian team that won the Phoenix Dynasty Cup Presented by Visa against Japan in 2003. In 2003, won the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia on home soil. Victory came a week after he failed to earn his US PGA Tour card at Qualifying School Finals. Was a member of the winning Asian team in the 2003 & 2005 Visa Dynasty Cup against Japan. In 1998 he won the individual and team title in the Putra Cup and won the amateur titles of Singapore and Thailand. Also won the Putra Cup individual title in 1997, and was a member of the Thai team that won the South East Asian Games in 1995. Claimed the Pakistan Amateur in 1995.
Winner 1995 Pakistan Amateur Open, 1998 Thailand Amateur Open, Singapore Amateur Open, Putra Cup In Philippines (Won Team & Individual Titles), 2000 Singha Bangkok Open, Kolon Cup Korean Open, 2001 Wills Indian Open, 2002 London Myanmar Open, 2003 Volvo Masters of Asia, Thailand, 2004 Myanmar Open, 2004 Carlsberg Malaysian Open, 2005 Carlsberg Malaysian Open
2002 PGA European Tour Summary
Tournaments entered - 11; in money - 9; top-10 finishes - 1; money ?271,299 or £167,992; best finish, T2nd, BMW Asian Open
2003 PGA European Tour Summary
Tournaments entered - 10; in money - 7; top-10 finishes - 3; scoring average 71.00 (ranked 25th); money ?149,392 or £99,571 (ranked 125th); best finish, T6th, BMW Asian Open.
2004 PGA European Tour Summary
Tournaments entered - 20; in money - 15; top-10 finishes - 4; scoring average 71.00 (ranked 25th); money ?514,239 or £347,841 (ranked 43rd); winner, Carlsberg Malaysian Open.
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