MELBOURNE – Thailand's Prom Meesawat has a big weekend ahead. Not only will he emulate his dad by appearing at golf's World Cup, but his wife is due to give birth.
Known as the "Big Dolphin" due to his burly physique and hailing from a coastal town, the 34-year-old is teamed with Kiradech Aphibarnrat for the tournament at the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne's sandbelt region.
It will be a proud moment when he tees off on Thursday at the 59th staging of the event where 28 teams will vie for US$7 million in prize money.
"My dad (Suthep) played in the World Cup previously, so it's nice I will get a chance too and follow in his footsteps," the two-time Asian Tour winner told reporters.
Strong family ties have been a foundation in Prom's career. His father, now 70, was the first local golfer to win the Thailand Open in 1991 and he represented the kingdom at the World Cup in 1982.
It inspired Prom to take up the game and he is paired this week with Kiradech, who he also considers family after the pair spent their junior years together and shared a room on the European Tour.
"I'm so happy to be picked by him. We grew up together, had the same coach, have been good friends for a long time. Our families are also very close," said Prom.
Kiradech, ranked 36 in the world, is Thailand's new star and recently earned a PGA Tour card for the 2018-19 season.
Prom said it was time for players like himself and Kiradech to pick up where the likes of Boonchu Ruangkit, Thaworn Wiratchant, and Thongchai Jaidee left off.
"They have done a lot for golf in Thailand, so now it's my generation and Kiradech’s generation," he said. "It would be the right time to have a good finish in the World Cup of Golf and show Thai golf and Asian golf can win anywhere."
Making the weekend even more special, Prom's wife is due to deliver their second child, a boy, who he hopes will maintain the family tradition.
"I hope he follows my footsteps too," he said.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)