The US$1 million event, which has been part of The R&A’s Open Qualifying Series since 2014, saw Jamie Donaldson claim his first victory of the season in fine style. The Welshman, who clinched the winning point for Europe at the last installment of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, fired a brilliant 65 to finish three shots ahead of two-time Thailand Golf Championship winner Lee Westwood and rising French star Clement Sordet on 21-under-par.
Donaldson, Westwood and Sordet also earned their berths at The 145th Open, to be played next July at Royal Troon, thanks to their play at the award-winning Amata Spring Country Club, but it was the performance of Phachara that stood out.
Phachara, who is fighting to retain his Asian Tour card after an inconsistent season, was only assured of his place in the Thailand Golf Championship field after getting through the qualifying tournament on Monday. Now, thanks to a fine 66 in the final round to finish the event in solo sixth – which earned the final Open spot for those players who were not already exempt – he can look forward to making his major debut.
“I am overwhelmed with happiness that I can be included in The Open,” said an emotional Phachara, who moved up into 63rd on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. “I played with no expectations so I guess that was the key to playing well today.
“I was already very happy to get a chance to play with the top stars this week,” continued Phacahara. “I didn’t think so much and I surprised even myself to finish so well … I am really happy with how I played. I had a great day out there.”
About the Thailand Golf Championship
Organized by Gulf Sports Management and IMG, and sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the fifth edition of the Thailand Golf Championship will be staged at the award-winning Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi between 10-13 December. The Championship, the Asian Tour’s season-ending event, has a total prize purse of US$1 million, and has been part of the Open Qualifying Series since 2014. The Thailand Golf Championship will be broadcast globally by Asian Tour Media and in Thailand by TrueVisions.
Former winners of the Championship are: Lee Westwood (2011), Charl Schwartzel (2012), Sergio Garcia (2013) and Lee Westwood (2014).