MACAU : Thai ace Thongchai Jaidee will be seeking his first win of the year when he tees off at the US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open today.
The 43-year-old, who has won 13 Asian Tour titles, said yesterday he had tried hard every week to win and Macau was another opportunity for him to claim his first triumph of the season.
"If I can putt well, I will have a high chance of winning here," said the Lop Buri native whose last win on the Asian Tour came at the 2010 Cambodian Open.
"My putter has betrayed me lately. With the greens here fast, I hope I can return to form. I love fast greens and this makes me feel confident.
"My focus has been on the European Tour lately. When I come back to Asia, I want to win."
World No.62 Thongchai was tied for eighth at last year's Macau Open won by Gaganjeet Bhullar of India.
"I have nine more events to play this year. If I can win a tournament, it will be good.
"If I fails, I will try harder next year," said Thongchai who is among 26 Thais in the 144-player field.
While Thongchai is aiming to win his first title of the year, compatriot and reigning Asian Tour No.1 Thaworn Wiratchant will be trying to secure his second win of the season after last month's Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.
The 46-year-old, who won in Macau in 2009, has been working hard to climb up the rankings to finish the season in the top four for a berth at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in March.
Thaworn, who has won a record 16 Asian Tour titles, is 17th on the money list.
Thitiphun Chauyprakong, who shared third place here last year, said that the course was better than last year but the wind could make it tougher.
Thitiphun, who is 64th on the money list, said that he had struggled with his driver lately but believed he could solve the problem before the end of the season so that he could retain his tour card for next year.
Among the favourites to win the $144,000 first prize are Ernie Els of South Africa and defending champion Bhullar.
Bhullar, who took a wire-to-wire victory last year, was in a confident mood saying this was one of his favourite courses.
"I'm feeling good and I'm striking the ball good," said the Indian, who will make his sixth appearance in Macau.
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