Golf’s history-making schoolboy from Thailand: Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantananuwat – eastpowernews



CNN
 — 

Like most 15-year-olds, Ratchanon “TK” Chantananuwat thinks about college, exams, and school plans.

However Ratchanon shouldn’t be like most children his age – he’s already a history-making novice golfer competing in opposition to a few of the sport’s finest professionals.

In April – 5 weeks on from his fifteenth birthday – he made worldwide headlines when he turned the youngest male participant to win on a significant Tour, claiming the $750,000 Belief Golf Asian Blended Cup in his native Thailand.

This month, he’s learning for necessary biology and economics exams, a stress he’s needed to juggle with representing his nation on the thirty first Southeast Asian (SEA) Video games, in Vietnam.

It’s a balancing act of daunting proportions, however an unfazed Ratchanon has a degree to show.

“It will get a bit of bit laborious typically, however I benefit from the problem,” he advised CNN. “I like to do nicely in each and show all of the doubters improper.

“Apparently if you happen to’re an athlete, you’ll be able to’t do good in class. I’m making an attempt to vary that.”

Victory on the Asian Tour marked a brand new high-point within the fledgling profession of one of many sport’s brightest younger stars. Ratchanon has loved a sensational rise since – aged simply 13 years and 4 months – he turned the youngest participant to make the lower within the historical past of the All Thailand Golf Tour, in August 2020.

And extremely, he got here agonizingly near successful an Asian Tour occasion even sooner, ending third in his first worldwide professional occasion on the Singapore Worldwide in January.

Ratchanon’s {golfing} origin story reads like a comic book e book. Having begun taking part in with plastic golf equipment and balls on the age of three, TK – a nickname twinning his father or mother’s initials – completed final in his first event at 4 years previous.

“I noticed the child who acquired the trophy and I acquired actually, actually jealous,” Ratchanon recollects. “I didn’t know why I didn’t get one, so I used to be actually upset. Then my dad needed to clarify to me how he received, so he acquired the trophy.”

And so following a month of intense coaching beneath the tutelage of a equally aggressive, golf-loving father, he acquired his palms on the trophy on the subsequent try.

At his first Junior World occasion a 12 months later, motivational messages had been inscribed on chairs at every tee. “Winners by no means stop and quitters by no means win,” learn one, a motto that exemplifies Ratchanon’s mentality and work ethic.

His father acts as his caddie in addition to a 3rd coach, placing in additional hours along with his son to construct upon classes from two different coaches. On days with out college, an already intensive observe regime ramps up one other degree, the teenager spending wherever between seven and 9 hours on the course honing his craft.

Ratchanon chips onto the green at the PIF Saudi International in February.

Warned in opposition to exhaustion, Ratchanon has began to take off the occasional half day – spending the time on tutoring, physiotherapy or health – however shrugs off any suggestion of burnout.

“I don’t see it taking place. I like golf. I like practising,” Ratchanon mentioned.

“Sure, it’s laborious – it hurts and it takes lots of self-discipline, however even simply two months of tremendous laborious work simply to get that one good shot or only a good consequence, I believe it pays off for me.”

And who higher to supervise Ratchanon’s ascent than compatriot Thongchai Jaidee, an Asian Tour legend with 20 skilled wins to his title. The 52-year-old icon has helped the teenager with varied points of his sport since their first assembly in 2019.

When Ratchanon needed to study his hero’s spinning chip, the pair spent the subsequent three weeks practising the method for six hours a day.

“He’s been serving to me a lot with my sport. He’s an ideal man,” Ratchanon mentioned. “I believe he simply enjoys serving to growing Thai golfers for the way forward for Thai golf.”

Jaidee during the Chubb Classic at Florida's Tiburon Golf Club in February.

Thongchai has additionally helped mildew the psychological facet of the teenager’s sport, serving to him implement a routine to beat dips in efficiency beneath strain. Now, Ratchanon has a technique to make use of in huge moments: decelerate, take a sip of water, and swing “with out hesitation.”

Requested concerning the strain of the “teen prodigy” tag and rubbing shoulders with the game’s elite, the 15-year-old merely replies, “I get pleasure from it.”

“I’m not feeling pressured … I’m not terrified of taking part in with good individuals,” he mentioned.

“Nobody’s actually pushed it on me and I’m very lucky that I’ve lots of good individuals round me who will assist help me and hold me in line.”

It’s an perspective serving to Ratchanon to take issues one step at a time. Eager to not rush the bounce to the skilled sport, he’s laser-focused on ending college with a flourish.

RELATED: Patty Tavatanakit: The golfer who admits it’s ‘odd’ to suppose she’s a significant winner

Ratchanon is already dreaming of learning physics at a university within the US, sustaining his golf balancing act on the facet. He’s eager to comply with the examples set by Colin Morikawa and Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit, who graduated from the College of California, Berkeley, and UCLA respectively earlier than tasting main glory.

“I’ve seen lots of Thai gamers flip professional early, however now I believe lots of people know that going to school is price their whereas,” he mentioned.

“If we flip professional, that is our life. We will’t actually flip again.”



CNN
 — 

Like most 15-year-olds, Ratchanon “TK” Chantananuwat thinks about college, exams, and school plans.

However Ratchanon shouldn’t be like most children his age – he’s already a history-making novice golfer competing in opposition to a few of the sport’s finest professionals.

In April – 5 weeks on from his fifteenth birthday – he made worldwide headlines when he turned the youngest male participant to win on a significant Tour, claiming the $750,000 Belief Golf Asian Blended Cup in his native Thailand.

This month, he’s learning for necessary biology and economics exams, a stress he’s needed to juggle with representing his nation on the thirty first Southeast Asian (SEA) Video games, in Vietnam.

It’s a balancing act of daunting proportions, however an unfazed Ratchanon has a degree to show.

“It will get a bit of bit laborious typically, however I benefit from the problem,” he advised CNN. “I like to do nicely in each and show all of the doubters improper.

“Apparently if you happen to’re an athlete, you’ll be able to’t do good in class. I’m making an attempt to vary that.”

Victory on the Asian Tour marked a brand new high-point within the fledgling profession of one of many sport’s brightest younger stars. Ratchanon has loved a sensational rise since – aged simply 13 years and 4 months – he turned the youngest participant to make the lower within the historical past of the All Thailand Golf Tour, in August 2020.

And extremely, he got here agonizingly near successful an Asian Tour occasion even sooner, ending third in his first worldwide professional occasion on the Singapore Worldwide in January.

Ratchanon’s {golfing} origin story reads like a comic book e book. Having begun taking part in with plastic golf equipment and balls on the age of three, TK – a nickname twinning his father or mother’s initials – completed final in his first event at 4 years previous.

“I noticed the child who acquired the trophy and I acquired actually, actually jealous,” Ratchanon recollects. “I didn’t know why I didn’t get one, so I used to be actually upset. Then my dad needed to clarify to me how he received, so he acquired the trophy.”

And so following a month of intense coaching beneath the tutelage of a equally aggressive, golf-loving father, he acquired his palms on the trophy on the subsequent try.

At his first Junior World occasion a 12 months later, motivational messages had been inscribed on chairs at every tee. “Winners by no means stop and quitters by no means win,” learn one, a motto that exemplifies Ratchanon’s mentality and work ethic.

His father acts as his caddie in addition to a 3rd coach, placing in additional hours along with his son to construct upon classes from two different coaches. On days with out college, an already intensive observe regime ramps up one other degree, the teenager spending wherever between seven and 9 hours on the course honing his craft.

Ratchanon chips onto the green at the PIF Saudi International in February.

Warned in opposition to exhaustion, Ratchanon has began to take off the occasional half day – spending the time on tutoring, physiotherapy or health – however shrugs off any suggestion of burnout.

“I don’t see it taking place. I like golf. I like practising,” Ratchanon mentioned.

“Sure, it’s laborious – it hurts and it takes lots of self-discipline, however even simply two months of tremendous laborious work simply to get that one good shot or only a good consequence, I believe it pays off for me.”

And who higher to supervise Ratchanon’s ascent than compatriot Thongchai Jaidee, an Asian Tour legend with 20 skilled wins to his title. The 52-year-old icon has helped the teenager with varied points of his sport since their first assembly in 2019.

When Ratchanon needed to study his hero’s spinning chip, the pair spent the subsequent three weeks practising the method for six hours a day.

“He’s been serving to me a lot with my sport. He’s an ideal man,” Ratchanon mentioned. “I believe he simply enjoys serving to growing Thai golfers for the way forward for Thai golf.”

Jaidee during the Chubb Classic at Florida's Tiburon Golf Club in February.

Thongchai has additionally helped mildew the psychological facet of the teenager’s sport, serving to him implement a routine to beat dips in efficiency beneath strain. Now, Ratchanon has a technique to make use of in huge moments: decelerate, take a sip of water, and swing “with out hesitation.”

Requested concerning the strain of the “teen prodigy” tag and rubbing shoulders with the game’s elite, the 15-year-old merely replies, “I get pleasure from it.”

“I’m not feeling pressured … I’m not terrified of taking part in with good individuals,” he mentioned.

“Nobody’s actually pushed it on me and I’m very lucky that I’ve lots of good individuals round me who will assist help me and hold me in line.”

It’s an perspective serving to Ratchanon to take issues one step at a time. Eager to not rush the bounce to the skilled sport, he’s laser-focused on ending college with a flourish.

RELATED: Patty Tavatanakit: The golfer who admits it’s ‘odd’ to suppose she’s a significant winner

Ratchanon is already dreaming of learning physics at a university within the US, sustaining his golf balancing act on the facet. He’s eager to comply with the examples set by Colin Morikawa and Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit, who graduated from the College of California, Berkeley, and UCLA respectively earlier than tasting main glory.

“I’ve seen lots of Thai gamers flip professional early, however now I believe lots of people know that going to school is price their whereas,” he mentioned.

“If we flip professional, that is our life. We will’t actually flip again.”

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