BANGKOK (2 December 2015) – A European union of Ryder Cup stars – and hopefuls – are set to descend on the US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship and test themselves against a collection of the world’s best at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi from 10-13 December.
Leading the way will be Welshman Jamie Donaldson – the man who sunk the clutch putt that secured victory for Europe over the Americans at Gleneagles last year – as he makes his first appearance at the Thailand Golf Championship.
Donaldson will be joined by his French Ryder Cup teammate Victor Dubuisson, who debuted at the Asian Tour’s showpiece event last year and arrives fresh from a repeat victory at the Turkish Airlines Open.
Also making his Thailand debut this year is the rising star of European golf, 21-year-old Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick, after a remarkable season capped by his victory in the British Masters in October and a slew of top-10 finishes for the year on the European Tour.
The trio will line up for a fifth staging of the Thai Golf Championship that boasts a field including two-time winner Lee Westwood, 2013 champion Sergio Garcia, last year’s runner-up Martin Kaymer, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, and Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke.
Flying the flag for the locals will be Asian Tour standouts Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, both Thai players coming off sensational seasons on the European Tour.
The fact that Clarke is also set to captain Dubuisson and Fitzpatrick as part of his team for next month’s EurAsia Cup in Malaysia has given the pair even more incentive for their visit to Amata Spring.
“It’s been a great year so far and another good week at the Thailand Golf Championship would be the icing on the cake for me,” said Fitzpatrick, whose consistency has seen him rocket up the world rankings from 423rd at the start of the year to 48 at present.
“Every European golfer dreams of playing in the Ryder Cup and that of course is among my goals for 2016, along with helping Europe win the EurAsia Cup. But first things first, and I’ve asked other players about Amata Spring and have been told it offers a fantastic layout. The event offers just a great week on and off the course. I can’t wait to get there.”
Twenty-five-year-old Victor Dubuisson was unable to find form at last year’s edition of the Thailand Golf Championship, but having learned from the experience he returns this year excited to conquer the challenge.
“There is a lot at stake in the coming 12 months, with the EurAsia Cup, the Ryder Cup and of course the Olympics, and for me it all starts at the Thailand Golf Championship,” said the Frenchman. “The fans in Thailand didn’t see my best last year, so I hope to set things straight this year against what is shaping up to be a great field. I know Darren [Clarke] is playing and will be watching how we perform. The competition should be intense.”
Donaldson’s heroics at the last Ryder Cup showed once again just how well the 40-year-old deals with pressure, and he’ll be keen to show just that for Clarke – and for the Thai fans.
“The Ryder Cup has given me great memories,” said the Welshman. “There’s no doubt I want to get back out there at Hazeltine next September but my mind is now set on coming to the Thailand Golf Championship and playing to the best of my ability 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).