Thai teenager Panuphol ‘Coconut’ Pittayarat is attracting a lot of attention on the Asian golf scene – and not just for his driving. For the bespectacled 18-year-old, fromBangkok– who was nicknamed Coconut by his parents – is also receiving plaudits for his sartorial elegance.
Pittayarat, ranked fourth on tour for his driving distance, has sprung from nowhere to become one of the hottest talents in Asia and cuts quite a dash in his golf gear, designed and supplied by UK-based Sub70 – and, like ‘Coconut’, it is much talked about on tour.
After three missed cuts and a tied-37th finish, last month Pittayarat claimed his biggest purse, finishing second in the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters, at Kota Permai Golf & Country Club, Shah Alam, while wowing onlookers with his classy appearance.
The victory shot him up to 32nd in the Asian order of merit and earmarked him as a star of the future.
Like most teenagers Pittayarat is very conscious of his appearance and likes the stylish look of the Sub70 apparel.
He said: “I love the way the shirts and trousers are designed for fashion. I am always confident that I will look smart on the course when I am wearing Sub70 clothes.”
Pittayarat started playing aged six and was winning junior events inThailandtwo years later. He also competed in five World Junior Golf Championships, finishing runner-up in the nine to 10 age-group, before leaving school and turning professional at 14 – “I wasn’t a fan of studying and golf is the only job I can do” – and playing on the domestic Thai circuit.
He served notice of his potential by capturing the 12th card at qualifying school inThailandearlier this year but failed to make an impact in his first five starts. However, a cheque for $41,690 will go a long way to securing his card for 2012.