The 17-year-old qualified for The Open for the second straight year through the Qualifying Series in Singapore last week and will be among the elite field contending for the prestigious title at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club.
After finishing second to Prayad Marksaeng at the SMBC Singapore Open last week, Phachara plans to keep things simple and not give himself unnecessary pressure at the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
Man of the moment Prayad, who won his 10th Asian Tour title at the age 50, will be aiming for back-to-back victories.
He finished runner up to Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan at the Myanmar Open at the same venue in 2010.
Indian rising star Chikkarangappa S. believes he is slowly hitting top form after missing the halfway cut in Singapore last week.
He enjoyed his best season on the Asian Tour in 2016 and hopes to rise to the occasion at the Pun Hlaing course, a venue which suits his game.
Local veteran Zaw Moe, who turns 50 in June, will look to Prayad for inspiration as he aims to become the first player from Myanmar to win his National Open. He is among 15 local players in the elite field this week.
Interesting facts of the day:
- In his last six tournaments, Phachara Khongwatmai has finished inside the top-five on four occasions.
- Phachara holds the world record as the youngest amateur player to win a professional golf tournament at the age of 14.
- Prayad Marksaeng finished second at the Pun Hlaing course in 2010 but he was 10 shots back from the winner Tetsuji Hiratsuka, who is also in the elite field this week.
- If Prayad wins this week, he will be the oldest player to secure back-to-back victories on the Asian Tour. The last player to win two straight tournaments on the Asian Tour was Lee Westwood in 2011.
- Chikkarangappa S. will make his debut in Myanmar but said the Pun Hlaing course has a similar layout to the Royal Calcutta course in India.
- Zaw Moe will make his 12th appearance at the Myanmar Open. His best result in his National Open was tied 13th in 2000. No local player has ever won the prestigious trophy.