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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai golfer Chapchai "King Kong' Nirat credited his fitness regime for getting him back into the Asian Tour winner's circle after shedding almost 30 kilograms prior to his first success in five years.
The talented Thai ballooned to 120 kilograms after winning the 2009 Sail Open in India with an eye-catching 32-under-par total but the heavier set led to a famine of success.
Slimmed down, the 31-year-old recorded his first win since then by prevailing in a playoff against Filipino Antonio Lascuna to win the $410,000 Selangor Masters on Sunday.
"After my last win, I had issues with my swing which related to my body weight of 120kgs. Now, I’m 93, so I can go back to the old swing," Chapchai, who is also known as 'King Kong', said in a statement on Wednesday.
"I had back problems when I was 120kgs. I had to go for a lot of treatment.
"But after taking care of my diet and consistently exercising, I’m beginning to feel better and my golf game is in great shape."
Chapchai moved up to sixth in the Asian Tour's Order of Merit with the win and will have the chance to improve further at this week's much more lucrative 150,000,000 Yen ($1.38 million) Asia-Pacific Open, co-sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour.
Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty