Ratchanon Chantananuwat. Asian Tour

Thailand’s hottest young golf prospect Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantananuwat may be a textbook example for any aspiring golfer, but he is also adept with the textbooks himself, as the 16-year-old just received the news he smashed his GCSE exams with (almost) straight As.

TK told Golf Digest Middle East in July about the hard work with life on tour and his studies — and he seems to have the perfect balance as he seeks to gain access to a top college in the United States as he looks to further his career.

He got news of his exam results as he was finishing off his final round at the Asian Tour’s International Series St Andrews Bay Championship in Scotland, where he finished T45.

“School is good,” said TK, who last year became the youngest winner on the Asian Tour when he claimed the Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup by two shots over PGA Tour star Tom Kim of Korea.

“I just got my grades, A star in English, A in maths, so I’ll take that, you know. Like I’d hoped for an A star in math, but you can’t get everything you want. It should be good enough to get into any college alongside of good golf, but I still got a couple more subjects, so it seems like it’s a never-ending process. I did chemistry, physics and economics, now there are other subjects and I just want to get everything over with so I can finally be a full-time golfer.”

He actually received results in five subjects, with the only B he got surprisingly coming in Physical Education.

Now TK will have plenty of options where to continue his studies and golf career, with top-tier golf and academic universities on his radar.

He said: “I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve finalised a couple of deals with a couple of schools, and I just need to make up my mind as to where I want to go and commit to that place.”

While he’s not scheduled to graduate high school for another two years, he is fortunate enough that the universities he is considering are offering to start his college career earlier than that.

Regarding just how early he said: “It depends on the school. I graduate in 2025, by age I should start in September of 2025, but for one college I would start in September of 2024 and the rest I would start in January of 2024. That would be two years early, one year earlier has always been the plan all along, but some schools have even gone further than that and offered me two years early.”