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Thongchai Jaidee

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I see that Mr. Jaidee has been issued an invitation to The Masters at Augusta, Georgia USA. Good for him the invite is long overdue. He has been excellent over the past few years.

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Thongchai goes to the Masters

Thongchai Jaidee received a special invitation this morning to play in the Masters, becoming the second Thai and the first for 35 years to compete at this major, fulfilling his own dream to play at every major golf tournament.

Thongchai was just one year old when the first and only Thai played at the fabled Augusta National in April: Sukree Onsham, who played twice in the Masters tournament, in 1970 and 1971.

Thongchai now is 36, and once said he believed "politics" was the only reason he never before had received a special invitation from the Masters committee.

He was the first Thai to win a European PGA Tour event, taking the Malaysian Open in 2004 and then in 2005.

The former paratrooper has finished in the top three on the Asian Tour's money list for the last five years.

The Masters often invites a foreign player not already eligible. He got in through this back door:

The cutoff for qualifying for the Masters was the PGA Tour money list and world ranking published yesterday. Only two players became eligible - Rory Sabbatini and Arron Oberholser, both having won this year and finishing in the top 10 on the money list and top 50 in the rankings.

Greg Owen of England failed to redeem himself from his three-putt from 3 feet on the 71st hole at the Bay Hill Invitational that cost him victory and a spot in the Masters. He needed to finish in the top 20 at The Players Championship to move into the top 50, but wound up in a tie for 22nd after closing with a 70.

Owen was No. 52 in the world rankings published Monday.

The field does not include Kenny Perry and Ryan Moore -- both were eligible but will miss the tournament because of injuries.

Tiger Woods is the defending champion at the Masters, which starts April 6 on an Augusta National course now stretched to 7,445 yards.

Source: Bangkok Post - 28 Mar 2006

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Yes, congratulations on the invitation. Currently ranked ~ 58 he was unable to qualify (top 50), so it is great that he got an invite. Now he will have played in all four majors. He's trying to set up one of his three practice rounds with Vijay Singh (2000 Masters Champion), which will be a plus. With the changes to the course this year he may not be at as much of a disadvantage as he otherwise might be, and I'll be pulling for him to make the cut.

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Thongchai aims to make Thai history

AUGUSTA, GA

Thongchai Jaidee practiced alone for the second day in a row after a golf date with former champion Vijay Singh fell through on Tuesday.

Playing in his first Masters golf tournament, Thongchai Jaidee had no time to waste waiting around for other players.

Plans for Thongchai to play with 2000 Masters champion Vijay Singh on Monday and again on Tuesday were cancelled because of Vijay's work-out schedule. So Thongchai decided he would just play by himself.

"I just wanted to go out there and play", he said after his Tuesday's practice round. "It's unfortunate that I couldn't play with Vijay, but I still got my practice done".

The tournament is fantastically international, and every time you look up, there is another nationality _ South American or Japanese or Irish.

But the Thai drew particular attention as he walked and shot, accompanied only by his caddie. "You just got to admire a guy for going out there and playing by himself the first time at the Masters," said a fan. "He's got a lot of guts".

Thongchai got the biggest roar of the day from the crowd, which is a sellout even on the practice days.

A tradition at the Masters calls for golfers to try to hit a ball onto the green at the famous par-16th hole by skipping it across the pond that serves as a hazard during the tournament _ and a challenge during the Tuesday practice.

The packed gallery applauded when Thongchai hit his first ball into the water.

But on the second ball, the Thai star hit a perfect shot. It flew across the water, touched down on the pond surface about halfway to the green, bounced off the water and landed on the putting surface. Thongchai grinned and waved as the crowd went wild, as if it were the winning shot on a Sunday.

Wednesday is the traditional Par 3 tournament at The Masters, so Thongchai's hopes of playing with Vijay might be over.

Playing at Augusta National for the first time, Thongchai had no problems hitting the golf ball around the lengthened Augusta National. "It's my first time playing here, so I had no idea what was lengthened and what wasn't", Thongchai said after his first ever round at Augusta National on Monday,

Thongchai went off in the afternoon on Monday and only played nine holes on the back on Tuesday for his first looks at the golf course. "The course is tough and long, but it's fair", said Thongchai.

Familiar Thai faces were also seen at Augusta in the past two days. About a dozen Thai fans travelled here from around the east coast to see the Thai star in action. They came from nearby Atlanta and from Ohio _ 1,300 kilometres.

"I've been coming to the Masters for 30 years, this one is the most special one for me", said the owner of a Thai restaurant in Atlanta.

Thongchai will make Thai history if he makes the cut this week. Sukree Onshamplayed in the Masters in 1970 and 1971, both times missing the cut.

"I definitely hope I'll be here the whole week, it would be my biggest accomplishment," said Thongchai. He joked that Augusta National is so beautiful he wouldn't even leave even if he missed the cut.

Thongchai will tee-off on Thursday at 9:39AM local time (9:39 p.m. Thursday night Thailand time), with Mark Clacavecchia and David Howell for a chance to make Thai history at the Masters.

Source: Bangkok Post - 6 April 2006

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Im a big Fan of TJ even when he was first at amatuer level.. To be in the Masters will surely be a big hit among Thai community around the world after Paradon the Tennis star

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Thongchai scored a first round score of 78 (+6). Needs to have a tremendous round today to have any chance of making the cut.

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Thongchai off to bad start

Augusta _ Thongchai Jaidee's dream Masters debut turned into a nightmare yesterday. The 36-year-old Thai star opened his campaign with two pars at Augusta National Golf Club but five straight bogeys left him five over for the tournament and tied 50th at press time.

Thongchai is only the second Thai-born golfer to play at Augusta, and the first since Sukree Onsham in 1971. Sukree also played in 1970, but didn't make the cut either year.

Thongchai's been in the top three on the Asian Tour money list each of the last five years, finishing first in 2004 and 2001. He became the first Thai-born player to win on the PGA European Tour when he won the Malaysian Open in 2004, and defended the title the following year.

He's also played in the other three major championships, finishing 52nd at last year's British Open and 74th at the US Open in 2001. He played in the last two US PGA Championships, missing the cut each time.

Source: Bangkok Post - 7 April 2006

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Thongchai struggles at the Masters

August, Georgia

Thongchai Jaidee's debut at the Masters Thursday turned sour as he struggled to a six-over par 78.

But it could have been even worse for the first Thai in 34 years to play in the prestigious opening Major of the year.

He insisted that his ambition to make the cut was still achievable despite his disappointing start. His round will be seen, partially, on pay-TV coverage on Star Sports beginning at 3 a.m. tomorrow.

"Six over is not too bad. Anything can happen out there," he said. "I just have to go out and score better tomorrow in the second round."

The leader after the first day was Vijay Singh at five under, followed by Rocky Mediate, one stroke back. Tiger Woods was at even par, tied for 19th.

Thongchai was far from the worst today. Among others, he is ahead of golf legends and former Masters champs Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo, both a shot behind Thongchai. He beat playing partner Mark Calcavecchia by two shots. David Duval was 12 over par.

Accompanied by England's Ryder Cup player David Howell and former British Open champion Calcavecchia of the United States, the 36-year-old Asian champion opened with two pars but then slumped with five straight bogeys.

He steadied the ship from the eighth and went on a run of nine straight pars before another bogey hit him at the 17th.

"It was difficult putting out there especially on the front nine. The greens were very tough," said Thongchai.

"But I came back quite strongly on the back nine and I was driving very well."

The former Ranger in the Royal Thai Army was handed a late invitation to play at Augusta making him the first Thai player in 35 years to compete in the Major after Sukree Onsham in 1971.

Sukree failed to make the cut on that occasion and Thongchai's goal was to become the first player from his country to make it through to the weekend. (Compiled from agencies)

Leaderboard after the first round, which ended at 6 a.m. this morning Thailand time. Tonight's teeoff times included. Coverage in Thailand from 03:00 to 06:00 on pay-TV, Star Sports:

1 Vijay Singh (67) 02:19

2 Rocco Mediate (68) 12:40

3 Arron Oberholser (69) 02:19

T4 Tim Clark (70) 13:35

T4 Retief Goosen (70) 13:57

T4 Geoff Ogilvy (70) 11:01

T4 Phil Mickelson (70) 11:23

T8 Ben Crenshaw (71) 12:18

T8 Rich Beem (71) 12:29

T8 David Howell (71) 13:46

T8 Mike Weir (71) 13:57

T8 Fred Couples (71) 02:41

T8 Nick O'Hern (71) 09:11

T8 Ben Curtis (71) 09:55

T8 Billy Mayfair (71) 10:06

T8 Stuart Appleby (71) 10:39

T8 Chad Campbell (71) 10:39

T8 Ernie Els (71) 11:23

T19 Rod Pampling (72) 11:56

T19 Miguel Angel Jimenez (72) 12:29

T19 David Toms (72) 02:08

T19 Tiger Woods (72) 02:30

T19 Brandt Jobe (72) 09:00

T19 Ted Purdy (72) 09:00

T19 Carl Pettersson (72) 10:17

T19 Darren Clarke (72) 10:28

T19 Stewart Cink (72) 10:50

T19 Sergio Garcia (72) 11:01

T19 Adam Scott (72) 11:34

T30 Lucas Glover (73) 11:56

T30 Robert Allenby (73) 02:30

T30 Jim Furyk (73) 02:41

T30 Jason Bohn (73) 10:17

T30 Thomas Bjorn (73) 10:50

T30 Padraig Harrington (73) 11:12

T30 Angel Cabrera (73) 11:34

T37 Olin Browne (74) 11:56

T37 Ben Crane (74) 12:07

T37 Todd Hamilton (74) 01:57

T37 Luke Donald (74) 02:08

T37 Stephen Ames (74) 09:22

T37 Zach Johnson (74) 09:33

T37 Colin Montgomerie (74) 09:44

T37 Joe Ogilvie (74) 09:44

T37 Scott Verplank (74) 09:44

T37 John Daly (74) 10:17

T37 Davis Love III (74) 11:34

T48 Larry Mize (75) 12:07

T48 Trevor Immelman (75) 12:18

T48 Vaughn Taylor (75) 12:40

T48 Michael Campbell (75) 13:24

T48 Justin Leonard (75) 09:22

T48 Lee Westwood (75) 09:55

T48 Shingo Katayama (75) 11:23

T55 Rory Sabbatini (76) 12:51

T55 Tom Lehman (76) 01:35

T55 Jose Maria Olazabal (76) 02:08

T55 Tim Herron (76) 09:11

T55 Sean O'Hair (76) 09:22

T55 Bart Bryant (76) 09:33

T55 Peter Lonard (76) 10:06

T55 Fred Funk (76) 10:39

T55 K.J. Choi (76) 10:50

T55 Chris DiMarco (76) 11:01

T65 Ian Woosnam (77) 01:35

T65 Henrik Stenson (77) 02:19

T65 Craig Stadler (77) 10:12

T68 Paul McGinley (78) 01:02

T68 Fuzzy Zoeller (78) 01:02

T68 THONGCHAI JAIDEE (78) 01:46

T68 Thomas Levet (78) 10:28

T72 Nick Faldo (79) 12:29

T72 Raymond Floyd (79) 12:40

T72 Gary Player (79) 12:51

T72 Tom Watson (79) 01:24

T72 Shigeki Maruyama (79) 02:41

T72 Bernhard Langer (79) 09:33

T72 Kevin Marsh (79) 11:12

T79 Charles Howell III (80) 01:02

T79 Brian McElhinney (80) 01:24

T79 Mark Calcavecchia (80) 01:46

T79 Edoardo Molinari (80) 02:30

T79 Mark Hensby (80) 09:11

T79 Sandy Lyle (80) 10:06

T85 Dillon Dougherty (82) 12:51

T85 Shaun Micheel (82) 10:55

T85 Mark O'Meara (82) 10:28

88 Clay Ogden (83) 12:18

89 David Duval (84) 12:07

90 Charles Coody (89) 09:00

Source: Bangkok Post - 7 April 2006

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Thongchai fails to make Masters cut

Augusta, Georgia

Thongchai Jaidee shot a much improved round of 75 this morning (Thailand time) but it was not good enough to make the cut at his first Masters golf tournament as he had hoped.

The Lop Buri golfer got off to a bad start with a round of 78 on day one, and his attempt to come back failed to overtake the world's best golfers above him on the leaderboard.

The cut was at 4 over par, which comprised the low 47 scorers. Thongchai missed by five shots.

Grouped in the final qualifying spot at 4 over par for two days were Brandt Jobe, Ted Purdy, Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk. A total of 90 golfers are in this year's Masters field.

Chad Campbell has taken the tournament lead with a 5-under-par 67, putting him at 6-under in two days, and two shots ahead of Rocco Mediate, Vijay Singh and Fred Couples.

Campbell made six birdies and one bogey at Augusta National Golf Club.

Tiger Woods is 1-under par and tied for 10th.

The Masters, first and perhaps the most prestigious of all golf tournaments, is among the most keenly competitive.

Thongchai was in good company in missing the cut. His two round score was better than teh well known David Duval, Fred Funk and John Daly. Thongchai beat Shigeki Maruyama and Mark O'Meara and was one stroke behind former Masters champions Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo.

Statistical details of Thongchai's two days are at this Internet link (copy and paste):

http://www.masters.org/en_US/scores/bios/r...layer24511.html

The Masters scores after two days:

1 Chad Campbell 71-67 (138) -6

T2 Rocco Mediate 68-73 (141) -3

T2 Vijay Singh 67-74 (141) -3

T2 Fred Couples 71-70 (141) -3

T5 Darren Clarke 72-70 (142) -2

T5 Ernie Els 71-71 (142) -2

T5 Phil Mickelson 70-72 (142) -2

T5 Tim Clark 70-72 (142) -2

T5 David Howell 71-71 (142) -2

T10 Nick O'Hern 71-72 (143) -1

T10 Billy Mayfair 71-72 (143) -1

T10 Padraig Harrington 73-70 (143) -1

T10 Olin Browne 74-69 (143) -1

T10 Ben Crenshaw 71-72 (143) -1

T10 Retief Goosen 70-73 (143) -1

T10 Tiger Woods 72-71 (143) -1

T17 Stephen Ames 74-70 (144) E

T17 Scott Verplank 74-70 (144) E

T17 Jason Bohn 73-71 (144) E

T17 Rich Beem 71-73 (144) E

T17 Mike Weir 71-73 (144) E

T17 Arron Oberholser 69-75 (144) E

T23 Justin Leonard 75-70 (145) +1

T23 Ben Curtis 71-74 (145) +1

T23 Stewart Cink 72-73 (145) +1

T23 Geoff Ogilvy 70-75 (145) +1

T23 Shingo Katayama 75-70 (145) +1

T23 Davis Love III 74-71 (145) +1

T23 Rod Pampling 72-73 (145) +1

T30 Zach Johnson 74-72 (146) +2

T30 Carl Pettersson 72-74 (146) +2

T30 Stuart Appleby 71-75 (146) +2

T30 Sergio Garcia 72-74 (146) +2

T30 Adam Scott 72-74 (146) +2

T30 Miguel Angel Jimenez 72-74 (146) +2

T30 Rory Sabbatini 76-70 (146) +2

T30 Luke Donald 74-72 (146) +2

T30 Robert Allenby 73-73 (146) +2

T39 Mark Hensby 80-67 (147) +3

T39 Tim Herron 76-71 (147) +3

T39 Angel Cabrera 73-74 (147) +3

T39 Larry Mize 75-72 (147) +3

T39 Jose Maria Olazabal 76-71 (147) +3

T44 Brandt Jobe 72-76 (148) +4

T44 Ted Purdy 72-76 (148) +4

T44 Thomas Bjorn 73-75 (148) +4

T44 Jim Furyk 73-75 (148) +4

T48 Bart Bryant 76-73 (149) +5

T48 Colin Montgomerie 74-75 (149) +5

T48 Peter Lonard 76-73 (149) +5

T48 Thomas Levet 78-71 (149) +5

T48 Ben Crane 74-75 (149) +5

T48 Vaughn Taylor 75-74 (149) +5

T48 Michael Campbell 75-74 (149) +5

T48 Ian Woosnam 77-72 (149) +5

T56 Lee Westwood 75-75 (150) +6

T56 Chris DiMarco 76-74 (150) +6

T56 Todd Hamilton 74-76 (150) +6

T56 David Toms 72-78 (150) +6

T60 Joe Ogilvie 74-77 (151) +7

T60 Lucas Glover 73-78 (151) +7

T60 Trevor Immelman 75-76 (151) +7

T60 Tom Lehman 76-75 (151) +7

T60 Henrik Stenson 77-74 (151) +7

T65 Sean O'Hair 76-76 (152) +8

T65 Shaun Micheel 82-70 (152) +8

T65 K.J. Choi 76-76 (152) +8

T65 Raymond Floyd 79-73 (152) +8

T69 Bernhard Langer 79-74 (153) +9

T69 John Daly 74-79 (153) +9

T69 Nick Faldo 79-74 (153) +9

T69 THONGCHAI JAIDEE 78-75 (153) +9

T73 Mark O'Meara 82-72 (154) +10

T73 Tom Watson 79-75 (154) +10

T73 Shigeki Maruyama 79-75 (154) +10

T76 Craig Stadler 77-78 (155) +11

T76 Paul McGinley 78-77 (155) +11

T76 Brian McElhinney 80-75 (155) +11

79 Mark Calcavecchia 80-76 (156) +12

T80 Fred Funk 76-81 (157) +13

T80 Edoardo Molinari 80-77 (157) +13

T82 David Duval 84-75 (159) +15

T82 Clay Ogden 83-76 (159) +15

T82 Fuzzy Zoeller 78-81 (159) +15

T85 Kevin Marsh 79-81 (160) +16

T85 Dillon Dougherty 82-78 (160) +16

T85 Gary Player 79-81 (160) +16

88 Sandy Lyle 80-81 (161) +17

89 Charles Coody 89-74 (163) +19

90 Charles Howell III 80-84 (164) +20

Source: Bangkok Post - 8 April 2006

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Congratulations Thongchai.

It was not only a great achievment to be in the field but he played head to head with the worlds very best. The pressure on the course during the Masters has to be felt to be believed and unlike the frenzy of other supreme events in sports like the World cup championship match, your all alone facing that hour after hour, day after day.

Anyone who treads that path and performs to that level has to be admired. Its a great day for ThongChai and a great day for Thailand.

CONGRATS

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