Thailand is one of six Asian countries to have qualified for the Melbourne World Cup of Golf in November.
The tournament is a 72-hole strokeplay event for 28 two-man teams and the final line-up was confirmed yesterday (Thailand time) after the PGA Tour’s Dell Technologies Championship in Massachusetts.
The five other Asian nations to be included are South Korea, China, India, Chinese Taipei and Japan - but there’s one condition.
Qualification is based on the rankings of each country’s top two men – but the higher-ranked player is required to confirm his participation by September 13.
If the top-ranked player elects not to commit – or fails to do so – the option will be passed to the next highest-ranked player from that country based on the Official World Golf Ranking.
In Thailand’s case, for example, world No 36 Kiradech Aphibarnarat is easily the country’s top player, followed by Jazz Janewattananond (world 140).
If Kiradech does not confirm his involvement Thailand would almost certainly drop out of qualification based on Janewattananond then becoming Thailand’s top player – and several other countries have been placed on standby for this eventuality,.
In the history of the World Cup of Golf, only Japan and Chinese Taipei have won the prestigious team event for Asia.
Torakichi Nakamura and Koichi Ono delivered a popular home win for Japan in 1957 while Toshimitsu Izawa and Shigeki Maruyama teamed up for a second Japanese triumph in Mexico in 2002, which was also last time an Asian country won the event.
Hsieh Min-nan and Lu Liang-huan earned Chinese Taipei’s lone World Cup of Golf success in 1972 when it was staged at Royal Melbourne.
The event will be played at The Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne and the 59th staging of the event will see the 56-player field vie for the largest prize-money purse in Australian golf, with $US7 million on offer.
The first and third days of competition are four-ball (best ball) format and the second and final days are foursomes (alternate shot) play.
Top 10 Qualifiers
1. United States
9. South Africa