Thaworn Wiratchant maintains a proud tradition of some of Asia's finest golfers having competed in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
He follows the likes of South Korea's Kim Kyung-Tae and KJ Choi, Taiwan's TC Chen and Japanese legend Isao Aoki to have teed it up in the annual showpiece at the Gary Player Country Club.
The "Iron Man" of Asian golf qualified as the winner of the 2012 Asian Tour Order of Merit, which he did at the age of 45 to become the oldest winner of the moneylist there. His historic 2012 Asian Tour season saw him rewarded with several accolades, including the Players' Player of the Year Award and a Special Achievement Award. And the Thai legend also tops the list of all-time Asian Tour victories with his 15 titles.
While it never surprised his competitors that Wiratchant can remain so competitive in the Asian game, the 2012 season was an unexpected bonus for Wiratchant.
"I never thought I could win the Order of Merit at this age. I just enjoy playing week by week and meeting my friends on Tour. I'm quite happy with that", said Wiratchant.
Born in Nakhon, Prathorn in Thailand, Wiratchant was first introduced to golf through his parents' job at the Army Golf Club in Bangkok. He developed his own unorthodox swing, which features an exaggerated backswing. "It worked for me in my amateur career and it works for me now", he once said of questions about his swing. And while his swing maybe unorthodox, his short game is certainly deadly enough to make up for any shortcomings elsewhere.
Wiratchant's amateur career, including victories in the Thailand Amateur Championship and Singapore Amateur Championship, did indeed provide a successful foundation upon which to enter the professional arena in 1987.
He won four times on the Asian Tour before a breakout season in 2005. That year Wiratchant won four times on the Asian Tour on his way to finishing top of the Order of Merit. He's since had only one season where he's gone winless.
Wiratchant is devoted to his practice regime and wakes at 5:20 each morning to begin work. "Every day I spend time training and I only spend time with my family on Sundays. There are new players coming in and I'm getting older," he says.
Wiratchant cites black as his lucky colour, which on a golf course designed by the Black Knight himself could certainly work in his favour. His short game will also be an asset.