Star-struck but not overawed, Asia's top players are prepared to take on Tiger Woods and the best players in the world. Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, last season's Asian Tour number one, leads the region's challenge with each member of the contingent bent on making an impression in the world's oldest major. For Thammanoon Srirot of Thailand, his major debut gives him the rare opportunity to lay to rest his ghost of 2002. It will also be the first time that two Thais are featuring in a major together. Three years ago, the 36-year-old Thammanoon stumbled to a calamitous 87 on the Old Course during the Dunhill Links Championship. 'I shot a one over for the front nine and took 50 on the back nine. I hit it out of bounds twice on the 10th hole and ran up a big number. So I'm looking to play this hole well in particular this week,' said Thammanoon. With the weather being unusually warm, Thongchai is hoping to get his game firing on all cylinders when he tees up alongside Frenchman Jean van de Velde, famous for throwing away a three-shot lead in the 1999 Open at Carnoustie. Last week, the former Thai paratrooper played his way into contention at the Barclays Scottish Open but faded with a disappointing final round 76, which included a career-first 'air shot' that saw him run up a triple-bogey seven. 'I had a good week in Loch Lomond ... except for the final day. I got unlucky to double bogey my fourth hole when my approach hit the pin and rolled off the green and then I hit an 'air shot' on the 15th ... I've never done it before in my career.' Danny Chia of Malaysia and Singaporean Mardan Mamat have been star-struck since setting up camp near the home of golf last weekend. The 32-year-old Chia and Mamat are the first players from their countries to feature in the Open. 'It is exciting to be here. When I stood on the first tee on Sunday morning for my first practice round, I said to myself, 'Finally, I'm at the home of golf',' said Mamat, who played at Royal Troon in 1997 but missed the halfway cut. 'It's everyone's dream to be here at St Andrews for the Open. Everywhere you look, you see the stars of the game. They are of a different calibre and obviously our aim is to get on to this stage on a regular basis.' Chia, the 2002 Taiwan Open champion, was proud of the fact that he is the first Malaysian to take to the major stage. With Scottish caddie Simon Blackmore, who has played the Old Course some 2,000 times and holds the 'unofficial' record of most played rounds per year at 310, Chia is looking forward to the first round where he has been drawn to play with three-time European Tour winner Patrick Sjoland and last week's US PGA Tour winner Sean O'Hair. 'Simon is really helping me work my way round the Old Course as he's familiar with the layout. It's good to be here and I'm proud to see the Malaysian flag flying high on the first fairway grandstand,' said Chia.