Chinnarat wants McIlroy pairing

Thailand's Chinnarat Phadungsil hopes he can fulfil his birthday wish by getting paired with Rory McIlroy at the WGC-HSBC Champions which tees off on Thursday.

Golf News: Rory McIlroy

Chinnarat, who is celebrating his 23rd birthday on Tuesday, is excited with the prospect of teeing off alongside the world's best players at the Sheshan International Golf Club.

However, nothing would please the birthday boy more than locking horns with the Northern Irish wonder boy again who is just one year his junior.

"It's kind of exciting for me playing with the world top players like Lee Westwood and Mcllroy this week. I've played with Mcllroy before in Munich (BMW International Open, 2009) and it'll be a nice birthday present if I can beat him this week," said Chinnarat.

The three-time Asian Tour winner has enjoyed two top-10 finishes this season and believes that he can continue to do well again.

"I've not actually set any goals for myself this week but I'm confident that I can get a good result as I've been playing well," said Chinnarat.

"I did well in Malaysia last week. It would have been better if my chipping was good. I've been working on my areas of weakness and I'm looking forward to competing again," added the Thai.

Compatriot Kiradech Aphibarnrat is also aiming for another personal achievement at the only World Golf Championships that is played outside of the United States.

"My goal for this week is to finish inside the top-10. That'll be good for me. The next few weeks are going to be important and I want to be at the top of my game," said Kiradech.

Kiradech won his first Asian Tour title in India earlier this year and has gone on to enjoy two more top-10 finishes in Indonesia and Thailand.

While he is already beginning to justify the ‘rising' star tag that has been placed on him since he won the World Junior Championship twice in 2003 and 2004, the 22-year-old who has only missed a single cut this season remains grounded amidst these rising expectations.

"I'm not exactly 100% fit as I'm still suffering from the injuries to my wrist. But that's not going to stop me from playing my best and getting a good result this week," said Kiradech, who is currently lying in eighth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

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