Thongchai backs Thai players for Asian Amateur Championship
September 14, 2012 00:00 By Agencies 2,104 Viewed
Asian Tour legend Thongchai Jaidee has been named a Tournament Ambassador for this year's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, at Chon Buri's Amata Spring Country Club from November 1 to 4.
Thongchai, who is a three-time Asian Tour No 1 and winner of the Wales Open on the European Tour in June, will be an inspiration to his young compatriots ahead of the fourth edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
As the host nation, Thailand could have up to 10 players competing in the 120-man field and many will have their eyes on more than just the event’s trophy.
Each year, the winner earns an invitation to compete in the Masters at Augusta, while the champion and runner(s)-up both earn spots in International Final Qualifying (IFQ) – Asia for the Open Championship.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Thailand to host the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship as it will give our best young golfers a chance to compete against other top amateurs in the region, as well as an opportunity to earn a spot in the Masters and IFQ-Asia,” said Thongchai, whose duties will include meeting the Thailand team and speaking on behalf of the championship and the host nation.
“When I was a young amateur, we were not exposed to the exciting opportunities that this championship presents. Qualifying for the Masters and IFQ-Asia will certainly inspire fierce competition at Amata Spring,” added Thongchai, who has featured previously in the Masters and Open.
Thongchai, a former paratrooper in the Royal Thai Army, had a successful amateur career and won two individual Putra Cup titles, the Thailand Amateur Open and Singapore Amateur Open before he turned pro in 1999 at the age of 30.
Now 42, Thongchai is the Asian Tour’s most accomplished player, with three Order of Merit titles and 13 victories.