Jaidee’s historic win at the 2022 American Family Insurance Championship was a dream more than 20 years in the making
First Thai player to win a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event took a different path to victory
Read more and watch the video below about the 2022 champion, who will return to defend his title in 2023.
Winning seldom comes easy. It takes a strong work ethic, a belief in yourself and a dream to guide you along the way. Just ask 2022 American Family Insurance Championship winner, Thongchai Jaidee.
A native of Thailand, Thongchai didn’t pick up the game of golf until age 16. Even then, it was a fleeting hobby. His first club was homemade using a bamboo stick and an old 5-iron.
The game stayed with Jaidee, and so did the dream of playing professionally. But first, he served his country as a special forces paratrooper with the Royal Thai Army. Eventually, he began playing in Thailand’s amateur circuit, clinching the SEA Games golf gold medal for Thailand in 1995.
At 30, Jaidee turned pro. A year later, in 2000, he won the Korean Open. It would be the first of his 13 Asian Tour titles, and the beginning of a groundbreaking career filled with firsts:
- The first Thai player to win on the European Tour (now the DP World Tour) at the 2004 Malaysian Open.
- The first Thai player to compete in all four of golf’s major championships.
- The highest finish by a Thai player (13) at The Open Championship in 2009.
Before the 2022 American Family Insurance Championship, Jaidee hadn’t won in more than 2,000 days, and never in the U.S. But last June, those fortunes changed. The man whose name means “flag of victory” in Thai, finished tied for 10th at the Principal Charity Classic before capturing the Dream Achieved trophy at the American Family Insurance Championship a week later.
Jaidee’s win was another milestone: the first victory by a Thai player in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event, including the PGA TOUR, the PGA TOUR Champions and the Korn Ferry Tour.
Jaidee will be back at University Ridge June 9-11 to defend his title at the 2023 American Family Insurance Championship.
What does it take to reach the top?
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About the American Family Insurance Championship
The American Family Insurance Championship was created in 2016 by American Family Insurance, PGA TOUR Champions and PGA TOUR player and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker. Since its inception, the championship and associated events have raised nearly $15 million for the American Family Children’s Hospital and other charities. The 2023 championship will be held June 3-11 at the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information: Web: amfamchampionship.com; Twitter: @AmFamChamp; Facebook: American Family Insurance Championship; Instagram: amfamchampionship. #AmFamChamp
About PGA TOUR Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 34 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, on Facebook, on Twitter (@ChampionsTour), on Instagram (@pgatourchampions) and on TikTok (pgatourchampions).
All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Tournament programming is available via 25+ TV linear partners in 145+ countries and territories, with 25 channels carrying long-form and/or highlights coverage, and 200+ hours of live coverage distributed in 135+ countries and territories. Programming is also available via the OTT platform GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR in every market outside of the United States, excluding China and Korea, with live coverage distributed in 130+ countries and territories.