To be held from August 11 to 14 the prestigious tournament will boast an overall purse of US$1 million and feature Singha Corporation as the premier sponsor, with CAT Telecom leading a list of other big name sponsors.
Pongsakorn Pongsak, Executive Director of Suwan Golf and Country Club, Mark Hardess, President, World Sport Group, Rungsrid Luxsitanonda, President of the Thailand Golf Association (TGA) and Vice President of Singha Corporation, and Sompol Chanprasert, Senior Executive Vice President of CAT Telecom PCL, pose for a photo at the press conference to announce the 2011 Thailand Open.
Former US Open champion Michael Campbell from New Zealand, Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama, and leading Thai golfers Thaworn Wiratchant and Prom Meesawat are just some of the top names who will compete.
“The Thailand Open boasted prize money of US$1 million for the first time in its history last year and we are delighted to welcome it back at the same level in 2011. This will also be the first time that the Thailand Open will feature marquee players of the calibre of Michael Campbell and Shigeki Maruyama,” said Rungsrid Luxitanonda, on behalf of the Thailand Golf Association (TGA) and Singha Corporation.
Campbell became part of the golfing elite when he held off world number one Tiger Woods to win the US Open in 2005. The Kiwi star has won more than 14 tournaments worldwide.
The popular Maruyama has claimed 10 titles on the Japan Golf Tour and three on the US PGA Tour. He helped win the World Cup for Japan in 2002 and was also instrumental in the 1998 Presidents Cup victory by the International team.
“Our national Open is considered the biggest golf event in Thailand which has been organized since 1965. This year we have been given a great support from many business sectors and we believe that this year Thailand Open will be as significantly successful as in the previous years. This event will also be a vital part to promote tourism as well as golf industry in Thailand to the world. More star players will be announced in the forthcoming weeks as well as formidable field from OneAsia,” added Rungsrid.
The Thailand Open was won last year by China’s Liang Wenchong when the tournament made its debut on OneAsia. He claimed his third OneAsia title by one shot after holding off a spirited challenge from young Thai star Namchok Tantipokhakul.
The championship, first played in 1965, is an annual golfing tradition with some well known names inscribed on the trophy such as Australians David Graham (1970) and Graham Marsh (1973), and Taiwanese golfers Hsieh Min-nan (1972) and Chen Tze-ming (1983 and 1986).
Unquestionably the most popular winner of the event is Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit, who took top honours in 1992 and 2004.