Thai golfer Thongchai to host own event

Hua Hin (Thailand), Aug 24 (IANS) Decorated Thai star Thongchai Jaidee announced on Monday he will host his own tournament, the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation, for the first time at the award-winning Black Mountain Golf Club here from September 10 to 13.

A total of 156 players will compete in the four million baht event which includes 20 invite spots offered by the man himself, who will also be in the field. The remaining spots will be split between the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and the All Thailand Golf Tour.

The 45-year-old, who holds an unprecedented three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns and 13 titles, will become the third Asian Tour player after South Korea’s K.J. Choi and compatriot Boonchu Ruangkit to host his own tournament.

The addition of the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation will also make it a record total of 25 tournaments on the ADT schedule this season since the burgeoning tour was launched in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour.

Despite shifting his attention to competing on world stage, Thongchai has always kept his roots in Asia. In 2009, he signalled his intent to give back to the game by launching the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation to help under-privileged golfers in his hometown of Lopburi.

World No.41 Thongchai’s commitment to develop golf in the region was largely inspired by Thai veteran Boonchu, who had an ADT tournament named after him.

“Boonchu is a widely-respected player in Thailand and I was really inspired by his determination and commitment to give back to the game. Having already set up the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation, I thought I can contribute as well,” said Thongchai.

The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit with Asian Tour cards for 2016.

With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.

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