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Phuket teen turns pro ahead of Singha Laguna Phuket Open

GOLF: Phuket-based student Napat “Toy” Paramacharoenroj has turned professional at the tender age of 17, making his professional golfing debut at the Singha E-San Open at Singha Park, Khon Kaen in February and having since competed at the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation tournament and the Singha Chiang Mai Open held last month.

Sunday 12 May 2019, 12:00PM

The year 12 pupil at British International School, Phuket (BISP) will next weekend (May 16-18) join an international field of 144 players at the Singha Laguna Phuket Open.

Napat was awarded his professional tour card in December at the final stage of the All Thailand Golf Tour Qualifying School (Q-School) at Watermill Golf Club in Nakhon Nayok.

He finished within the top 35 by meeting the tournament’s rigorous scoring standards. Applicants must meet certain conditions to enter a Q-School golf event, including having a handicap of five according to a recognised handicapping system.

Napat’s coach at BISP, Oliver Bates, said turning professional is a milestone achievement in Napat’s young career and a testament to his strong work ethic and passion for the game.

Napat is an extremely hard-working and dedicated sportsman, with the right mindset,” said Bates. “He has huge potential and we’re thrilled that he gained his pro card through a qualifying tournament.”

Napat has a busy season ahead as he prepares to play in several more men’s professional level events on the 2019 All Thailand Golf Tour.

Playing in professional events is a new challenge for Napat, filled with new learning and development opportunities,” Bates added.

Napat has spent his entire education at BISP, enrolling as a Year 1 student in 2008. He started playing golf at age eight, developing his passion at the local Phunaka driving range. Already showing great promise in the sport, Napat joined the BISP Golf Academy when it launched in 2014.

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Being in the Academy ​has given Napat the flexibility and opportunity to travel to many tournaments over recent years, where he has claimed several domestic and international victories.

“​The Academy has given me a chance to work closely with coaches and improve my game, especially my short-game due to our high-performance training facilities,” commented Napat. “This has really helped me lower my scores.”

Napat now hopes that playing in professional tournaments will help him to further hone his skills.

“​Turning professional isn’t a very common thing to do at my age,” he said, “but doing so will allow me to ​play against top golfers and develop the necessary skills to compete at the highest level.”

Napat is in his first year of the IB Diploma Programme.​ ​BISP Athletics Director, Jeff Lamantia, believes Napat’s positive attitude and dedicated approach towards his sport and studies make him a fantastic role model for other BISP students.

Napat has managed to balance the demands of training and competing at an elite level with his academic schedule. He is a positive presence in our school and we wish him every success for his upcoming professional tournaments,” he said.

Looking ahead, Napat hopes this is just the beginning of what will be a long, fulfilling career in golf. “In five years, I hope to have earned a tour card for the European or PGA tours and to be climbing the world rankings to the top 100.”

-Lee Blake



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