Former Asian Tour No 1 Thongchai Jaidee says he has no plans to hang up his clubs, despite making headlines on Sunday by applying to join the Thai Raksa Chart Party.
The 13-time continental tour winner was bombarded with questions about his future plans while promoting the 11th US$500,000 Queen’s Cup, hosted by Thongchai Jaidee Foundation, to be staged from November 29 to December 2 at the Legacy Golf Club near Bangkok.
“I just applied for membership as I want to propose ideas to the party on how to develop Thai sports,” said the 49-year-old Thongchai, winner of eight European Tour titles. “I still want to play golf and I have no plans to retire yet. There’s still a long way to go for me to fully enter politics.
“As an athlete, I wish to see more Thais emerging in the global arena. But at the same time I still enjoy playing golf. I will focus on the European Tour and Senior Tour in the US next season,” said the former world No 27, who has plunged to 485 due to injury problems.
Thongchai also praised Ariya Jutanugarn for her clean sweep of all the LPGA’s major awards this year.
“She has really put Thailand on the world map of golf. She’s proved that Thai golfers can become the world’s best,” he said.
Meanwhile, the 11th Queen’s Cup, held in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, will be the Tour’s fourth stop in Thailand this season after the Thailand Open in June, the 10th Queen’s Cup and the Royal Cup in July.
Defending Champion Jazz Janewattananond, who sealed his second Asian Tour victory and first on home soil in July, will be among the 132 players vying for honours at the 11th edition of the Queen’s Cup.
Other notable names in the field include Korea’s Sanghyun Park, who is currently ranked second in the Order of Merit standings, Indian duo Shiv Kapur and SSP Chawrasia and Chan Shih-Chang of Chinese Taipei, who are all multiple winners on the Asian Tour.