08 December 2019

The Thai Assassin

Poom Saksansin will come to Royale Jakarta Golf Club to defend his title at the BNI Indonesian Masters supported by Bank BRI and MedcoEnergi on December 12-15.  

The Indonesian Masters will always be close to Poom Saksansin’s heart. The US$750,000 event put him under the golf spotlight in Asia. After winning the Indonesian Masters last December - his third Asian Tour title - Poom earned his place among the Asian Tour elites when his ranking jumped to 144th in the world. 

This year, Poom has experienced ups and downs. The 26-year-old has hit a bumpy road on his golf journey, including a back injury that forced him to withdraw from a tournament in June. As a result, Poom’s rank had tumbled down into the 300s by this October. Poom is eager to rise through the ranks again, and with such a positive experience already under his belt at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, it could be the perfect place to give him the confidence to do it. Let’s take a closer look Poom’s golf journey so far:

What was Poom’s golf story before he turned pro?
Poom started playing golf when he was 10 years old, representing Thailand at the 2010 Asian Games, the 2011 and 2013 Southeast Asian Games, and the 2012 Eisenhower Trophy. At the 2011 and the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, he won the gold medal in the team event. He also won the bronze medal in the individual event at the 2013 Southeast Asian Games. 

What does he love about golf?
He enjoys how quickly a game can change. “One shot can determine if you play a good or bad round,” remarked Poom.

In 2010, at the age of 17, Poom turned professional. Why did he choose to be a professional at that young age? 
Poom made the decision for financial reasons as he didn’t want to ask his parents for money.

Poom had dreams of playing collegiate golf in the US. However, he was forced to bury the dream. Why was that?
Poom failed his TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). "I got straight A's in most of my studies but not English. I would sleep in that class," he said with a laugh, as quoted by Bangkok Post.

What would Poom be if he was not a professional golfer?
He would be a dentist. 

One of the keys to his success is his uncle. Why?
He uses his uncle as his caddie, even for the big events. His uncle keeps him calm under pressure. Poom explained, as quoted by Asian Tour, “If I don’t use him, I won’t even make a profit.”

At the Indonesian Masters, Poom set some records in his own professional career. What were they?
The 2016 Indonesian Masters was his first Asian Tour title. Poom is the second-ever player following Lee Westwood to win the Indonesian Masters more than once. In his second win at the Indonesian Masters in 2018, he broke his previous lowest round score of 65 with a 63 during the second round at Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

At the EurAsia Cup last year, Poom stood out as a hero for Team Asia in their defeat of Team Europe at the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia. What did he do?
Poom partnered South Korea's Kang Sung to defeat Stenson and Frenchman Alex Levy 5&4 in the fourball format. He then stunned Casey 1-up in the singles. "We need to rename him 'Assassin' instead of Saksansin," joked Stenson after beating Poom who grew up idolizing Stenson. 

What did Casey recall about his encounter with Poom at the team event?
"He flatly beat me …. putted brilliantly and dusted me off at the last. And I was playing very nicely that week. I was trying to get a clean sweep of points. But that just shows how good he is, and I'm a good match play player," said the Englishman.

After starting the year at 140th, Poom was ranked 320th in the world in early October. What does he feel about this development?
“My form is not on track at the moment but I'm doing everything I can to improve my game. I need my driver to work again," said Poom. 

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