Defending champion Lee Westwood is looking to mix business with pleasure when he goes in search of an unprecedented third victory at the Thailand Golf Championship, which will return to the award-winning Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi from December 10th-13th. The popular 42-year-old, one of England’s greatest golfing exports, will line up alongside multiple Major winners Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer in a star-studded field for the fifth edition of a tournament that has become a favourite among the game’s elite. Past champion Sergio Garcia, 2016 European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke and local favourites Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat have also committed to play in the Asian Tour’s flagship event, which boasts a prize purse of US$1 million.
One player who needs no introduction to the Thailand Golf Championship is Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard has been a regular fixture at Amata Spring since the start – and tasted a sweet victory in 2013. “Having played the championship since the beginning I’ve seen at firsthand how it’s grown in prestige and importance,” said Garcia, who posted a tournament record score of 22-under to clinch his win of two years ago. Although the elegant Thailand Golf Championship trophy has gone to international players for four straight years, the galleries can be assured of a strong Thai challenge thanks to the form of local stars Thongchai Jaidee, Kiradech Aphirbarnrat and Prayad Marksaeng. “Playing on home soil makes the Thailand Golf Championship a very important tournament for me,” said 45-year-old legend Thongchai, a three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion who made his way onto the International team at the Presidents Cup earlier this month after enjoying a string of top performances in Europe.