Local players Prayad Marksaeng and Prom Meesawat finished first and third (tied) to demonstrate the strength of the Thai and Hua Hin contingent at the January (16th – 19th) 2014 Royal Cup Golf Hua Hin.
This was an Asian Tour Event and for the first time ever broadcast live, over four rounds on the Asian Tour’s global television platform which reaches over 180 countries and 640 million homes, ensuring extensive exposure for Hua Hin as well as the sponsors and the Kingdom of Thailand itself.
Plans are to move forward the Event in the future to increase the recognition of his Majesty, The King of Thailand’s birthday.
One of the reasons for this extensive coverage was the credentials of the international and Thai professional golfers, a world class field with 22 countries represented. Prize Money totaled US$1,000,000 with a winner’s purse of US$180,000.
As well as the strong Thai contenders consider international names names such as, Johan Edfords, Rikard Karlberg, Pelle Edberg and Fredrik Anderson Hed (Sweden), Scott Hend (Australia), Juvic Pagunsan and Juvic Pagunsan (Phillipines), Siddikur Rahman (Bangladesh), Anirban Lahiri (India), Lu wei-chih (Chinese Taipei) and Alex Cejka (Germany).
The Event was a great opportunity for local golfing enthusiasts to enjoy seeing professional golfers on the ‘golfing stage’. The ‘stage’ itself was golfing architecture (Course, buildings and facilities) at its best. It’s hard to imagine how Members of Black Mountain could ever be satisfied playing more pedestrian Golf Courses.
There is no entry charge and once you are ‘on Course’, how you spend your time is your choice. Some probably never leave hospitality areas where you can wine and dine all day or others walk the Course all day following their favourite player. Golfers will all know how important it is to allow players to play their shots without distractions from unnecessary noise or movement. The first time you go to a professional event the thing that you notice is that when a stroke is being played its deadly quiet.
Briefly; the golf. More pedestrian golfer would be in awe of the performances of these highly skilled sportsmen. I usually have no trouble seeing ‘average’ drives from the tee to the landing point. However when the drives on show were often well over 300 metres …………. where did it go? I could blame the mountainous backdrop, these guys literally hit the ball out of sight AND straight. However, take heart; we all know that we could have sunk that missed short putt anytime………………………
Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng completed a Royal double when he posted a six-under-par 66 to win on Sunday. After adding the Queen’s Cup to his trophy cabinet in June, the popular winner claimed another deserving victory at the Asian Tour season-ending event with a winning total of 12-under-par 276.
Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, who had taken a share of the lead for the first two rounds, had to settle for second place after signing off with a 67.
Thailand’s Prom Meesawat will have to wait longer for his second Asian Tour win as a final round 71 saw him finish in equal third alongside compatriot Chapchai Nirat and India’s Anirban Lahiri.
“I’m extremely happy to win the King’s Cup because it’s a great event and also staged in my home town here in Hua Hin. This win is especially special as it’s dedicated to all the Thai people,” said Prayad, who took home the winner’s prize purse of US$180,000 to surpass the US$3 million career earnings mark on the Asian Tour.
Prayad, who turned 48 at the end of the January, showed he is still a force to be reckoned with from the opening three birdies on the first four holes. After turning in 34, he birdied the par four 10th to move within two shots back of Karlberg at nine under.
The roars from the galleries erupted when Prayad sank his eagle putt from 20 feet to dethrone Karlberg from the top after the Swede succumbed to his nerves by making consecutive bogeys on holes 13 and 14. Prayad’s eighth win on the region’s premier Tour was confirmed after another birdie on the 17th ensured his unassailable lead and victory which he celebrated by jumping into the ninth hole greenside lake.
If you are a golf fan who has only seen the best on TV, next time there is an opportunity to ‘get up close’ and see it live on Course, go for it. It will be an experience to remember and a source of conversation with your golfing friends for years to come. Sporting theatre at its best!
Leading Scores after round 4 of the King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin being played at the par 72, 7386 Yards Black Mountain GC course:
276 – Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 68-71-71-66.
277 – Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 65-71-74-67.
279 – Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 69-71-71-68, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 68-73-68-70, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 65-71-72-71.
280 – Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 71-70-71-68.
281 – Scott HEND (AUS) 72-71-69-69, Angelo QUE (PHI) 66-75-67-73.
283 – Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 73-69-72-69.
284 – Andrew DODT (AUS) 71-73-71-69, MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 69-68-70-77.
286 – Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 74-71-71-70
288 – Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-73-71-73