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Strange practice pays off for Jaidee

European Tour
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The fact that it is raining at the Scottish Open should come as no surprise.

Anyone who has ever braved a summer camping holiday on the west coast of Scotland will have tales of biblical downpours, soggy sandwiches and tent poles snapped in the wind.

The beautifully situated Loch Lomond course is one of the best in Europe but for all the painstaking attention to detail and manicuring of the greens, the problem with appalling weather persists.

And that’s why it pays to be prepared.

Many spectators are decked out in gators and gortex, while those of an optimistic nature top off the look with a pair of sunglasses.

The tournament’s early leader is also one for a spot of forward planning.

Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee is not used to cool, damp conditions, which is why he gets a few funny looks when he’s practicing at home.

Jaidee, who drained putt after putt for a seven-under-par round of 64, revealed that he often dons long sleeves and waterproofs under the hot Asian sun.

“It gets a bit sweaty,” he said. “And people think I’m crazy.
“But at home we can’t play in the rain because it’s too heavy and we have lightening.”

People may think he’s lost it when they see him rustling away in his rainwear but not many are likely to say it to his face.

That’s because Jaidee is a former paratrooper in the Thai Army.

“I trained for a year and did 50 or 60 jumps,” he explained. “I learned a lot in that time. It made me stronger.”

It was on an Army golf course that Jaidee first picked up a club as he recuperated from an ankle injury that was to halt his progress as a promising footballer.

But it wasn’t much of a club, since his introduction to the game came when he found the head of a 5 iron and tied it to a bamboo stick.

The rain may have dampened enthusiasm among the galleries and kept a few at home but it has made for some low scoring.

With preferred lies on the damp fairways and greens soaking up balls like sponges, there is a lot of red on the scoreboard.

The par five 3rd has offered up a scattering of eagles and Sweden’s Pelle Edberg gave the hardy band of fans clustered in the 17th green stand something to cheer with a hole-in-one.

The home players have not fared too well early on, with Colin Montgomerie left to hold the baton for Scotland once again.

Monty’s steady round of 69 included four birdies but the Big Man, who finished at the 9th, will be fizzing about the shots he dropped at the 7th and 8th.

He may well lose some sleep over that second bogey, since he had a recent practice session there.

Married here three weeks ago, Monty played the 8th with each of the 18 groups invited to play, making 14 pars and four birdies.
Sometimes all the preparation in the world just isn’t enough when the fickle golf gods are out to amuse themselves…

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posted Jul 11, 2008

He should go the whole hog and get the hosepipe out and create his own little downpour, maybe even hire a wind machine??
That would get him used to our conditions up here, all he'd be missing is the midgies!! smileyok

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comment by exalll (U11106335)

posted Jul 11, 2008

Having worked in the forests of both Scotland and Thailand, I think braving the Thai mosquitos is plenty preparation enough for the midgies!

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posted Jul 11, 2008

Very refreshing to read articles (incl the one on SSP) about the guys behind the headlines, rather than the regurgitated rhetoric about Montgomerie, Rose, etc.
Nice one.

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posted Jul 11, 2008

I can't think of a worse country to see Golf than scotland, the weather is awful and cold even in summer, no wonder scotchman always moaning.

Come to italy for fantastic golf,sunny days, happy people and pretty girls and noo scots!!!!!

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posted Jul 14, 2008

I hope that next year the same problem described by Mr Moffat feels so certain of as to describe it as a definite issue year on year thus "the problem with appalling weather persists" will occur again. I am still applying the aftersun ! Was it really appalling Mr Moffat is it always that bad that your tend poles snap or are you being a little sensational perhaps?

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posted Jul 14, 2008

Dear grappaman aka "ricardovila" there is not such thing as a scotchman

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