Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of Thongchai Jaidee's life is that he has Bubba Watson as a friend.
The outspoken American is just one of many in pro golf who cannot help but like Thailand's top professional and a man who specialises in firsts.
This legend of Asian golf was the first Thai golfer to win on the European Tour, the first Thai golfer to compete in all four Majors, the first golfer to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit three times, and the first golfer to earn over $2 million on the Asian Tour.
And this year he became the first Thai golfer to play for the International Team in the Presidents Cup.
It's been an incredible journey for a man who has won 13 times on the Asian Tour and this year claimed his seventh victory on the European Tour, and who began his career hitting balls with the head of an old five iron that he tired to a bamboo stick.
Born in Lop Buri, a city north of Bangkok, Jaidee grew up in a rudimentary wooden house with no flush toilet or shower.
His saving grace was that their home bordered a golf course, and it was here that his love for golf began. Although his first love was soccer and he could well have had a successful career here too were it not for an injury he sustained when he stepped onto a wooden skewer because his family was too poor to pay for soccer boots.
Jaidee's path to professional golf was by no means a traditional one. He first spent time in the Royal Thai Army where he became a paratrooper and endured the kind of jungle training that makes the pressure of competitive golf seem very tame by comparison.
"In those days I would be training in the seaside, the jungle, the mountains ... wherever. I was carrying 30-40kg on my back and running - not walking - but running all day. It was really hard. But the most important thing is that it made me mentally tough. In the Army, there is no schedule. You don't know what you're going to have to do that day, and that helped me control my emotions. It really helped me mentally. As a pro, we all get angry if we duff a chip or whatever, but I'm able to control any mistakes I make as a result. Being in the Army has helped me with controlling my feelings," he said.
Jaidee won several titles as an amateur, including the Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand Amateur titles.
Then, at the late age of 29, he turned professional.
His first victory on the European Tour was in the 2004 Malaysian Open, making him the first Thai winner on the European Tour. And it was a title he successfully defended in 2005.
When Jaidee played in the 2006 Masters, he became the first Thai golfer to compete in all four Majors.
With a massive 13 victories on the Asian Tour, Jaidee has proved he can win on European soil as well, including his victories in the 2012 ISPS Handa Wales Open, the 2014 Nordea Masters and the Porsche European Open this year.
Jaidee has become known as the man who overcomes challenges with the most disarming smile in sport. But when he won the 2009 Ballantine's Championship, he was presented with a very different challenge. The winner received an exclusive blend whisky created by Graeme McDowell. And Jaidee doesn't drink alcohol.
But he overcame this in his usual charming way.
"I have a collection in my home. We have a collection of whisky for all the guests who come to my house. We already have Ballantine's that I got in Loch Lomond one year. We got one 21 year old. That one I put in my home."
Jaidee runs a foundation in his hometown, which assists young children there with education, and he has a golf academy for talented young Thai golfers.
He also owns a few restaurants in Thailand. And he remains a strong supporter of the Asian Tour.
"I spend a lot of time outside my country, so when I come back home I like to see my friends and family. I love the Asian Tour. I never forget the Asian Tour and will always play there if I can. It's good to see the Tour growing so much, and we have many young players coming through."