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Golf | Asia

Thaworn Wiratchant © Gallo Images

Veteran Thai duo set for King's Cup duel

Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant is eyeing a return to the top of the Asian Tour money list when he tees off at the King's Cup on Thursday but faces a stiff challenge from compatriot Thongchai Jaidee.

With Australia's pace-setting Marcus Fraser away at the PGA Tour Qualifying School, Thaworn can reclaim the top spot he held earlier in the year at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club in northeastern Thailand.

"It's nice to go back to the top with a good result this week and I prefer not to think too much about it at this stage as it'll put unnecessary pressure on me," said Thaworn, 45, who holds the record of 15 wins on the Asian Tour.

"It's good that we have a strong field with the top locals and Asian Tour players competing this week. That adds to the appeal of the event. As for Thongchai and myself, it's always good to play against a top player and I look forward to the challenge," added Thaworn, with three wins in 2012.

Fellow veteran Thongchai, 43, who has 13 career victories on the Tour, is gearing up for his first competitive event on home soil this season.

Thongchai, who has won three Asian Order of Merit crowns, won his first title on European soil in Wales in June, followed by top-10 finishes in Macau and Hong Kong.

"I always look forward to returning home. After being away for most of the year playing in Europe and Asia, it's always nice to come home to familiar surroundings and see friends and family," said Thongchai.

While injuries have kept him from playing a full schedule this season, Thongchai is satisfied with his results and hopes to reproduce his winning form at home as the year edges towards a close.

The $500 000 King's Cup is making its return after a year's absence following floods in Thailand. It is the third last event on the 2012 schedule.


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