Aphibarnrat: Plays golf to buy shoes, watches


Many golf fans may not know the name Kiradech Aphibarnrat, but perhaps that should change.

The burly Thai shot a 6-under 66 in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, a score that left him tied for second and two shots behind leader Henrik Stenson. After the round, Aphibarnrat chatted with Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte to help fill in a colorful off-course persona.

The 27-year-old got married last year in a hot air balloon, and as a car enthusiast he recently purchased a Ferrari. But he went with white, rather than traditional red.

"If I go anywhere, everybody knows there's only one in Thailand," he explained. "So that's the key why I had to buy white."

But Aphibarnrat doesn't just stop with flashy new wheels. He also likes to stockpile shoes, estimating that he has more than 40 pairs at home - at least 15 of which are Yeezys, the high-end shoe line created by singer Kanye West. He also has a watch collection that, according to Aphibarnrat, grows with every birdie.

"Watches, I think all that I can make, the earnings from last year has gone to buy all of my watches," he said. "So I have a lot of work to do. That's why I play a lot around the world, that you guys see. I spend a lot of it on all that stuff."

Aphibarnrat, who is ranked No. 82 in the world, reached as high as No. 37 after his T-15 finish at last year's Masters. He has three European Tour wins, including two in 2015, and has made nearly 4 million Euros on the circuit since 2009.

While he hopes to win "a couple more" times in Europe, he explained that his "main goal" is to become the first Thai player to play full-time on the PGA Tour.