I Am An Olympian: Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat describes his journey to golf stardom and how just playing in the Olympics might be bigger in his country than him winning the Masters.
Released on 8/4/2016
My first memory with golf is
I followed my dad to the ranch
I can say almost every day, I was a kid at eight years old.
I been runnin' around, doesn't pay attention
with golf at all.
You try to hit it two or three times.
You can't even hit the balls.
I think this sport is quite like challenge
and I just try to beat it.
So my dad saying, I mean if you wanna try
he will let me, buy me a club and then try
to hit far as I can.
And he's saying if I hit over like 20 yards,
he will by me a toy, new toy whatever.
It costs me like three days to hit over ten yards.
It's quite tough.
And you know everyday I just look forward
to go to the range, beat the ten, 20 yards
that my dad set up for me.
That's a good memory for the first time hitting balls.
I'm playing junior golf.
I'm playing a golf even the first time.
You can see how different is to other kid doing.
He doing so well.
He hitting so close and he got the lane.
He make the score and how different between us.
I don't want to be a joke in the golf course
in the groups that people try,
you just make six, seven all the time.
End of that day, I just came back in, focused more,
hitting more balls, you know.
Everything in your life if you pay attention,
if you concentrate enough, you will get everything.
So I just keep trying harder and harder and harder.
So one day I win.
Then my golf career start from that day.
Golf before, let's say before when I start is
maybe seven or eight sport that people
want to choose to play.
Now it's going up.
It's improving a lot.
A lot of golf course.
We have a lot of top players at the moment.
You can see how golf in Thailand is improving.
Not just me and all the young generation
going up so fast and I believe the next five or 10 years
you're gonna have a Thai player in the PGA Tour for sure.
Olympics is one of the biggest sport in Thai, in Asia.
I believe 95 percent gonna watch this Olympic Games.
'Cause all we're excited to be holding the Thai flag
on your chest and to play for the country
not just playing but yourself.
You're not just playing good for the event
You play matches all the way.
But this one you have to even you doing bad at the first day
you have to try harder and harder
because you hold 80 million people on your back.
Yeah I think winning the Masters, winning the green jacket
is also big.
Like I'm saying, 80 million people in Thailand
you know maybe half of it that I win the green jacket.
But I guarantee if I go back with the gold medal,
all 80 million people will know that.
I can't imagine how, how that I win the gold medal
and go back in our country how they're gonna celebrate.