BGB staff writer
BANGKOK, THAILAND: The Thongchai Jaidee Foundation will move to a new venue at the scenic Siam Country Club when the event returns onto the Asian Development Tour (ADT) schedule for its third consecutive edition this December.
The popular event, hosted by Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, will once again offer a total prize fund of ฿4 million (approximately US$120,000) when it gets underway for the first time in Pattaya from December 7 to 10.
With the event being the penultimate tournament on the 2017 schedule, players will have everything to play for as they jostle to finish as the leading five players on the final ADT Order of Merit to secure their Asian Tour cards for 2018.
Thongchai, a 13-time Asian Tour winner who also holds an unprecedented three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns, has been a strong advocate for the development of golf in his country and across the region over the past few years.
The 48-year-old Thai launched the Thongchai Jaidee foundation in 2009 with the aim to help the under-privileged golfers in his hometown of Lopburi. The foundation not only supports professional golf for men but also women through the Thai LPGA.
Through the staging of his tournament on the region’s secondary circuit, Thongchai hopes to create more playing opportunities for players in the region and unearth more talents to show the growing strength of Asian golf.
“The ADT has been a great platform for the region’s budding golfers to hone their skills and play their way back onto the premier Asian Tour. We have enjoyed successful editions in the last two years where Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Chapchai Nirat won respectively in 2015 and 2016.
“I am pleased with how the tournament has grown over the past few years. I am confident we can get another strong field of players this year. It will be a good opportunity for the region’s upcoming players to gain experience as they play alongside some of the established players from Thailand,” said Thongchai.
Jakraphong Thongyai, Commissioner of the All Thailand Golf Tour, said: “We look forward to welcome rising stars from across the region to the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation once again. We hope the players will make use of this opportunity to hone their skills and bring their game to the next level, given the world ranking points on offer on the ADT.”
Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour, lauded the strong commitment from Thongchai to grow the game of golf in Thailand and across the region.
“We are very pleased to sanction the 2017 Thongchai Jaidee Foundation for the third straight year. We are confident our players will continue to showcase the very best of the region’s golf when the tournament gets underway in December,” said Cho.
“On behalf of the ADT and our players, I would like to thank Thongchai, as well as the All Thailand Golf Tour, for their unwavering dedication. It’s great to see successful golfers like Thongchai giving back to the game as well,” Cho added.