Former Thai tennis star Paradorn Srichaphan will make a new attempt to break into professional golf this week when he tries his luck at the Asian Tour qualifying school.
Paradorn, 36, a former top-10 tennis player who also had a stint as a Buddhist monk, is playing Q-School for the first time after earlier bids to launch his golf career fell flat.
“I love sports and I want to prolong my sporting career. That was why I decided to switch to golf,” he said, in comments released by the Asian Tour.
“Everybody who plays golf falls in love with the game. It’s the same case for me. I have been putting in a lot of time and effort into my golf game for the past four to five years.”
Paradorn was forced to retire from tennis in 2010 after injuring his wrist while racing motorbikes, ending a career that took him to ninth in the world.
He also tried to make the cut as a golfer in 2013, but flopped after being handed invitational appearances on Southeast Asia’s ASEAN PGA Tour. Paradorn needs to finish in the top 40 this week in Hua Hin to gain his Asian Tour card, which would give him access to the region’s biggest professional golf circuit. “I am very excited and I am looking forward to the week. I will just keep to my own routine. I have been playing on the local tour before coming here,” Paradorn said. “I think golf is a game that you can really play for a long time. It’s very challenging. You can still win even when you’re over 40 years old,” he added. “It’s really competitive out here but it helps to keep you going as you try to improve. There are a lot of good players in Thailand.”
Other tennis players have tried their hand at golf, including Ivan Lendl, the eight-time Grand Slam winner and former coach of Andy Murray, who has competed in a handful of professional events.
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