From December 1st – 4th, Black Mountain resident & Thai golfing legend, Thongchai Jaidee, hosts his own tournament at Black Mountain Golf Club, for the second time in 2 years.
A total of 144 players will compete in the four million baht (approximately US$115,000) event, which includes 24 invitee spots offered by the man himself, who will also be in the field. The remaining 120 spots will be split in this co-sanctioned event, between the ADT (Asian Development Tour) and the All Thailand Golf Tour.
In a star-studded field of enormous talent, already confirmed to play alongside Thongchai are: Prayad Marksaeng, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Prom Meesawat, Chapchai Nirat, Simon Yates & Johan Edfors.
“It’s a pleasure to be providing the venue and working again this year with Thongchai, says Black Mountain Managing Director Harald Elisson. “The future of golf in Thailand depends on its rising stars, so supporting the Foundation in it’s efforts to assist Thai youth with educational opportunities is very rewarding, and playing a part in realising and developing national golfing talent is of great interest to Black Mountain.”
Thongchai, who holds an unprecedented three Order of Merit crowns and 13titles on the Asian Tour, including this year’s 100th Open de France, is the third Asian Tour player after Korea’s K.J. Choi and compatriot Boonchu Ruangkit, to host his own tournament in Asia.
In 2009, he realised his intent to give back to the game by launching the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation to help under-privileged golfers in his hometown of Lopburi. The foundation not only supports professional golf for men but also women professional golf in Thailand through the Thai LPGA.
By the staging of his own tournaments, Thongchai hopes to draw increased attention to his growing foundation and at the same time, create playing opportunities for the region’s emerging talent. “We are providing them with the knowledge of the game which could probably earn them a living one day,” said Thongchai, currently ranked 49th position in the world.
“We received an official letter from Thailand Ministry of Finance recently to certify that the foundation has been exempted from tax thanks to our contributions to the society over the years. It was a great milestone for us,” added Thongchai.
“The ADT (Asian Development Tour) has grown immensely over the years. It has been a great platform for budding golfers to gain playing experiences and hone their skills before moving on to the bigger stage. The Tour has also produced a handful of upcoming young players who are just waiting to burst onto the scene.”
“We have enjoyed a very successful event last year where Kiradech (Aphibarnrat) won. I am sure the field will be very competitive again this year and we can look forward to some world-class action from the rising stars
of the game this December,” said the 46-yearold Thai.
Asian Tour Associate Director Irfan Hamid said: “Thongchai has been one of our most successful golfers for over a decade and his tournaments will be an inspiration to the younger generation of golfers across the region.”
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2017.
The sponsors of the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2016 include SINGHA, Black Mountain Golf Club, Betagro, and Idemitsu.
Harald Elisson added: “It’s going to be a great event, and we look forward to welcoming the players, supporters and sponsors, doing so much great work for the Foundation.”