Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Poom outslugs four PGA titlists, but sees what’s needed next

Jul 29. 2019
Poom Saksansin
Poom Saksansin
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By The Nation

Thailand’s Poom Saksansin finished in a shared 58th position among 63 elite golfers at the US$10.25-million World Golf Championships-FedEx St Jude Invitational and left Memphis knowing where his game needs to be to compete at the highest level.

The 26-year-old signed for a closing 4-over 74 at TPC Southwind on Sunday and his four-day total of 10-over 290 was good enough to beat four PGA Tour winners – Sung Kang of South Korea and the American trio of Keegan Bradley, Max Homa and Kevin Tway.

“It was nice, a good experience at a big event,” Poom said. “I was struggling with my driver before arriving but I managed to get it to work and hit a lot better than in the past few weeks. Hopefully this will help build my confidence.”

Brooks Koepka, the current FedExCup No 1 and World No 1, captured his third title of the 2018-19 PGA Tour season by three shots after closing with a 65. 

The baby-faced Poom, a three-time Asian Tour winner, was under no illusions about needing to raise his game a few notches if he hopes to go toe-to-toe with the best players in the world.

Power is something Poom realises he needs to generate after ending the week some 40 yards shorter than Koepka in the average driving distance category. He clocked an average 267.4 yards off the tee, while Koepka registered 308.4 yards during a week that saw him claim the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 bonus prize of $2 million after achieving an unassailable lead in the points list.

With one regular season event remaining before the start of the FedExCup Playoffs, Koepka is also in prime position to lift the prestigious FedExCup and bag a whopping $15 million in bonus pay.

“Watching Brooks drive is like watching another step up in playing golf. He’s got all the muscles,” said Poom. “I know I have to improve my distance and be more confident too. The result isn’t good for me, but if I look at my main problems, it was just a few things.”

He said he truly enjoyed his week in the historic city of Memphis, which is the birthplace of the blues, soul and rock ’n’ roll. Poom also got to sample the city’s famous barbecued treats. 

“I have a friend studying here and he had a lot of good food recommendations,” added Poom, who will take a three-week break before resuming action on the Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour.

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