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Open qualifying places on offer at Thailand Golf Championship

October 16, 2014

The 2014 Thailand Golf Championship, to be played from December 11-14 at Amata Spring Country Club, has been confirmed as part of The Open Qualifying Series (OQS).

A total of four places at the 2015 Open Championship, to be held next July at St Andrews, the Home of Golf, will be up for grabs in Thailand, thereby strengthening the tournament's status as the Asian Tour's flagship event.

The Open Qualifying Series has replaced the R&A's International Final Qualifying for golf's oldest major, which was introduced in 2004 and involved standalone 36-hole qualifying events across five continents.

"The R&A is pleased to confirm that the Thailand Golf Championship will become part of The Open Qualifying Series," said Dominic Wall, Asia-Pacific Director of The R&A. "Beginning with the 2014 event in December, players from throughout Asia will have the opportunity to secure places in The Open Championship, which will be played next year at St Andrews."

While the Thailand Golf Championship boasts a stellar field of international players – defending champion Sergio Garcia, two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson, current US Open champion Martin Kaymer, South African legend Ernie Els and Ryder Cup heroes Lee Westwood and Victor Dubuisson have confirmed their participation in the US$1 million event – the Open Championship spots will go to the leading four finishers who have not already qualified.

This, said Kyi Hla Han, Chairman of the Asian Tour, represents a significant opportunity for his players to compete on the greatest stage of them all.

“The Asian Tour is delighted that the Thailand Golf Championship will now be part of The Open Qualifying Series," said Han. "This new status will provide additional motivation for our talented members to shoot for glory and fight for places in The Open Championship in 2015."

Amata Spring hosted International Final Qualifying from 2011 through 2013, and the R&A said it was keen to extend the relationship it has with the club.

"Amata Spring has proved itself as a world-class venue, both for International Final Qualifying and the Thailand Golf Championship over the past three years," said Wall. "The Open Qualifying Series enhances the qualification process by giving players the opportunity to qualify at a 72-hole championship as well as being more convenient in terms of their scheduling."

Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, added, "We are delighted to welcome the Thailand Golf Championship to the Open Qualifying Series. It is one of the most prestigious events on the Asian Tour and is played at an outstanding venue in Amata Spring. Both the Tour and the club have been extremely supportive and we are looking forward to a great championship with the added incentive of four places in The Open at stake."

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