Thailand Open dazzles with bigger stars
The Thailand Open will boast the strongest line-up in its history this year with an outstanding international field of golfers from the OneAsia Tour, Europe and Japan.
With Singha Corporation on board as top sponsor, the US$1-million tournament will tee off on August 9 at Suwan Golf and Country Club.
Top Thai golfers Thaworn Wiratchant, Prayad Marksaeng, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Prom Meesawat will battle for honours alongside defending champion Andre Stolz of Australia.
In an exciting development, European Tour stars Paul McGinley of Ireland and Englishmen Chris Wood, David Howell, David Horsey and Richard Finch will all be making their debut in the Thailand Open. Among them they have claimed 12 titles on the European Tour.
Shingo Katayama, Japan's No 1 player on five occasions and winner of 26 events at home, will be one of the many top Japanese heading to Suwan.
"The Thailand Open will break new ground this year with a truly world class field thanks to the addition of five top players from the European Tour and a wealth of leading Japanese professionals. This is a first for our national Open and I am sure Thailand's top golfers will rise to the challenge," said Rungsrid Luxitanonda, on behalf of the Thailand Golf Association.
"Our national Open has made remarkable progress since it returned to the golf calendar in 2009 after a brief hiatus. The tournament has emerged as one of the region's premier National Opens. More star players will be announced in the forthcoming weeks as well as a formidable field from OneAsia," added Rungsrid.
The event will be broadcast live to more than 400 million homes in more than 40 countries on ESPN Star Sports, SBS Golf Channel, OneWorld Sports, SuperSport and the Golf Network among others. Last year, Stolz triumphed after an enthralling head-to-head battle with Prayad.