The highly-rated Boonchu Ruangkit Championship will raise the curtain on the new Asian Development Tour (ADT) season when it gets underway from January 10 to 13 next year.
Aspiring golfers from across the region will begin their battle for the seven coveted Asian Tour cards on offer for the 2020 season when the popular event returns to the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club, on the outskirts of Bangkok.
An attractive prize purse of Bt4 million (US$121,700) will once again be on offer to the 156-man field in the event launched by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit, who is giving back to the game by providing playing opportunities for players in the region.
The event was first held as a “bonus” event on the region’s secondary circuit in January 2015, when Thailand’s Raththee Sirithanakunsak emerged victorious.
It returned as the season finale and an Order-of-Merit counting event in December that same year, when Thai prodigy Phachara Khongwatmai sensationally won the title to claim the fifth and final Asian Tour card on offer.
The prestigious trophy has been kept on home soil since as Danthai Boonma and Namchok Tantipokhakul both prevailed in playoffs to win the 2016 and 2017 editions respectively.
Boonchu, who has won five Asian Tour titles and is also a five-time winner on the European Senior Tour, expressed his delight in the return of his tournament as the season-opener for the 2019 ADT season.
“It is a huge honour to be hosting again on the ADT,” he says. “I hope to boost the development of golf in Thailand as well as provide more playing opportunities for aspiring talent through the staging of this event.
“I believe that the ADT is a great platform for players to nurture their games and prepare themselves for the higher levels of golf.
“Nitithorn Thippong and Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij have both earned their cards on the Asian Tour for the 2019 season following their wins this year and I hope more Thai golfers will be inspired by their feats.”
Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer Cho Minn Thant said: “On behalf of the ADT, I would like to express our gratitude towards Boonchu and the All Thailand Golf Tour for their dedication to the development of golf in the region. We are thrilled to be back in Thailand to kick off another exciting season on the ADT.”
Launched in 2010 as the gateway to the region’s premier Tour, the ADT has served as a successful platform for those hoping to make it on the bigger stage.
With Asian Tour cards also up for grabs for the top seven finishers on the ADT Order of Merit, players will be hoping to get a head-start on the merit race.