PGA Tour

Thai golfer Kiradech returns in Mexico from Covid-19 layoff

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat returns to the PGA Tour on Thursday at the Mayakoba Classic after testing positive for Covid-19 last month.

Kiradech, who tested positive on November 11, had his best finish of the year 10 days earlier with a share of 11th at Bermuda but the world number 246 hasn't played since.

"I'm negative now but I still feel tired. I think I'm only like 50%," Kiradech said. "I felt bad early on. I had fever for six days and felt weak. I recovered after 10 days but still feel a bit tired.

"I just wanted to come out to play here as this is the last tournament of the year before I head home."

The 31-year-old from Bangkok hopes a return to Mexico at Playa del Carmen sparks his game after sharing third in 2019 and fifth in 2018 at the WGC Mexico Championship in Mexico City.

Kiradech spent his Covid-19 quarantine in Orlando before flying to Mexico on Sunday. He spent two hours on the driving range his first day at the course and four hours there the next.

He credits a session with swing coach Mike Walker for his showing at Bermuda.

"Felt like I hit the ball good when I started practicing last weekend," he said. "I can't say too much now, just go out and play and I hope to get in four rounds. I've missed playing in golf tournaments and I played well in Bermuda, which was the first time in a while."

The former Asian Tour number one flies home after Mayakoba to spend the New Year with his family before planning to resume with two European Tour events in the Middle East before returning to the US Tour.

Mayakoba boasts its best field ever with 13 of the world's 50 top-ranked players, including third-ranked American Justin Thomas.

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