Sadom Kaewkanjana. Asian Tour
Sadom Kaewkanjana always exudes calmness and composure but at this week’s Indonesia Open that will be even more apparent as, just last month, the Thai star concluded his two-week monkhood.
With the main aim of giving his family considerable credit, he was ordained a monk for a short period of time, something Thai men, after they turn 20, often chose to do, entering a monastery to study dharma — the teachings of Buddha.
“I was ordained because I wanted to return the greatest merit and repay my parents,” said Sadom, who tees off in Indonesia’s National Open on Thursday at Pondok Indah Golf Course. “During this time of ordination, it was of great value and experience, even though the ordination was a short period of time.”
As was well documented, in 2017, his compatriot Jazz Janewattananond went through the same process and a month later he won his first event on the Asian Tour — the Bangladesh Open.
Said Jazz at the time: “They [the monks] just make you see things in a different perspective. Golf is not the biggest thing in your life.”
And, back in 2014, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the Asian Tour No. 1 at the time, also swapped his golfing attire for a robe to be ordained a monk for a week.
— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) August 2, 2023
Sadom will be hoping the special spiritual experience has a positive effect on the golf course. He is currently in sixth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit (OOM), following a strong start to the year, which saw him place fourth in the season-opening Saudi International, and then joint second in the International Series Oman, the following week.
However, he has missed the cut in his last three events and will be looking to bounce back this week in an event that marks the start of the second half of the season.
He said: “I was cut off from the rest of the world when I was ordained, that made me feel more calm. I was able to concentrate more, which will help me improve my game of golf.”
His time in the temple required him to shave his head and eyebrows, wake up at 4.30am, meditate, and clean the temple grounds, eating just one meal a day.
The 25-year-old is a two-time winner on the Asian Tour; the first coming in the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open in 2019, before he recorded a famous win in one of Asia’s most prestigious events, the Singapore Open in 2022.
The second victory was expected to open the floodgates to more success but while he has regularly been in contention since then, and finished third on last year’s OOM, a third win has been elusive so far.
That could change this week, though, with the supremely talented golfer, boasting a textbook swing, seeing the world and his ambitions in the game in a different light.