Thailand Open golf tournament gets new lease of life

Thailand Open golf tournament gets new lease of life

BANGKOK (AFP) – The Thailand Open, one of the region’s most revered golf tournaments, will return to the golfing calendar in 2009 after new backers were found, organisers said Tuesday.

The tournament has not been held for three seasons due to lack of sponsorship but the Thailand Golf Association (TGA) have signed an agreement with World Sport Group to breath new life into the event.

“This is an extremely exciting initiative for the Thailand Golf Association that we are confident will see the Thailand Open return to its glory days,” said TGA president Rungsrid Luxsitanonda.

“As everyone knows Thailand’s golfers are at the forefront of the game in Asia with so many great players but the one thing missing has been that fact that our national Open has not been played since 2005.”

The tournament dates back to 1965 with New Zealander Richard Lee the last player to lift the title.

World Sport Group already run a number of golf events in Asia and helped revive the Singapore Open, which has become a major tournament featuring five million dollars in prizemoney this year.

Chris Jordan, senior vice president for golf, said they had plans to do the same for the Thailand Open.

“The Barclays Singapore Open, which this year will offer prize money of five million dollars is an excellent example of what we can achieve and we are really looking forward to similarly transforming the Thailand Open,” he said.