- | Tours
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat secures DP World Tour card from Qualifying School
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat fired a sixth and final round of 7-under 64 to safely retain his DP World Tour card for next season following the conclusion of the grueling Qualifying School Final Stage at Infinitum Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old Asian star, who was ranked in the world’s Top 50 previously and held a PGA TOUR card for four seasons, finished tied 14th to be amongst the top 25 and ties to safely secure their jobs for 2024.
“Feeling great, to shoot seven under in the final round and to earn my DP World Tour card again,” said a delighted Kiradech. “I have to give myself a big round of applause because I put myself in a good start, stayed patient and didn’t get nervous as I tried to control myself and make sure I hit the ball at the right spot. The thing I did today was one of the best rounds of the season.”
This is the second year in a row the big-hitting Thai, who is a four-time DP World Tour winner, needed to go back to Qualifying School to secure his playing privileges after he lost his PGA TOUR card in 2022. Now that his job is secure for another season, he is confident he can get back to his glory days and challenge for a fifth DP World Tour title in the coming season.
“I don't think my game is far off, just need one good week. I really pushed myself back on Tour again two times in a row. I know there's something good ahead and I’m still looking for my fifth title,” said Kiradech, whose last win was achieved in 2018.
With his mother on the golf course to cheer him on, Kiradech said he also enjoyed playing alongside Sebastian Garcia of Spain, who fired a spectacular 62 to also secure his card. The Thai started the final round one stroke outside the Top 25 bracket but his stellar finish saw him end the week on 18-under 410, nine shots back of medalist, Freddy Schott of Germany.
“It's like an extra charger when you have her (mother) around and I want to make everyone happy. After the round, she has enough smiles and we’re going to have a big Thai dinner celebration later,” he laughed.
“To be honest, I did not think about what score I was supposed to shoot because I know everyone was going to get the nerves and excitement. I just tried working my golf swing on the range, make sure I hit the right spots. It's great to play with Sebastian as well …. nice guy and I feel more relaxed. He put in a great round and started five under after six or seven holes, and he really pushed me and inspired me. I was really feel comfortable today.
“When your back is against the wall, that means you don't have any room to step back. So I have to go forward. I’m tired now but it's tired in a good way. It's not about the body energy, it's about your brain have to keep thinking. It's quite a challenging week with difficult and long days. I think I managed myself quite well. It’s a fantastic week.”