King's Cup to debut in December
The Asian Tour will welcome a new tournament, the King’s Cup, in Thailand in December, officials announced today.
The King’s Cup, sponsored by Sports Authority of Thailand and Singha Corporation, will be staged at the highly-rated Santiburi Country Club Chiang Rai from December 3 to 6, 2009 with a minimum purse of US$300,000.
|The 8th hole at Santiburi Country Club, Chiang Rai
The announcement comes two weeks after Thailand celebrated the first staging of the Queen’s Cup on the Asian Tour Schedule on the holiday isle of Samui.
The King’s Cup, previously held as a domestic event, will be Thailand’s fifth tournament on the Asian Tour this season, making it the country with the most number of events in the region. The tournament will be sanctioned with the Thailand PGA.
Sports Authority of Thailand Governor Kanokphand Chulakasem said the tournament will be held in conjunction with the King of Thailand’s birthday.
“We are proud and honoured to elevate the stature of our King’s Cup this year. As an Asian Tour sanctioned event, the tournament will attract the best players from across the region including all the leading Thai players,” said Kanokphand.
“The popularity of professional golf in Thailand and Asia keeps growing and the Sports Authority of Thailand will continue to support the game as it will also bring honour to our country and create playing opportunities for Asia’s top players.”
Singha Corporation Sports Promotion Manager Suang Chataurai believes the elevation of the King’s Cup onto the Asian Tour Schedule will reinforce Thailand’s presence on the world’s golfing stage.
“For long, Singha Corporation has supported golf in Thailand and across the region and we are delighted to extend our partnership with the King’s Cup. The Asian Tour continues to play a major role in the development of the game and we will support its objectives of creating playing opportunities and growing the game,” he said.
Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han lauded the inclusion of the King’s Cup onto the 2009 Schedule.
“On behalf of our membership, I would like to express our fullest appreciation to the Sports Authority of Thailand and Singha Corporation for their support of the King’s Cup,” said Han.
“We have an on-going partnership with the Sports Authority of Thailand where it also supports our Qualifying School and Queen’s Cup, which was staged successfully two weeks ago.
“It is truly an honour for the Asian Tour to welcome the King’s Cup onto our 2009 Schedule as this is a very important event to the people of Thailand,” added Han.
Han said Yang Yong-eun’s historic triumph at the US PGA Championship where he became the first Asian male golfer to win a Major would provide a huge lift for the game in the region.
The other Asian Tour events staged in Thailand this year included the inaugural Black Mountain Masters, Singha Thailand Open, Asian Tour International and Queen’s Cup.
Thailand PGA President Boonchu Ruangkit said the King’s Cup would give Thai players an opportunity to establish themselves on the Asian Tour and fast-track their careers.
“The Thailand PGA works very closely with the Asian Tour to promote the game and the King’s Cup will further strengthen our partnership. I am confident our local stars will take up the opportunity to challenge for the King’s Cup which will be a great honour should one of our players win the title,” said Boonchu, who is a five-time Asian Tour winner.
The Santiburi Country Club Chiang Rai is located in Thailand’s northern town of Chiang Rai.
August 28, 2009