The Thailand Open is set to return in 2009 after a three-year absence and could be the latest addition to the Asian Tour schedule.
The tournament began in 1965 but, due to lack of sponsorship, has not been played since New Zealander Richard Lee won the 2005 event at Blue Canyon Golf and Country Club on Phuket Island.
However, Singapore-based promoters World Sport Group (WSG) announced in a press release on Tuesday that they had reached agreement and signed a memorandum of understanding with the Thailand Golf Association to promote the event for the next three years.
“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.
“We are delighted that the tournament will be re-launched at a time when the game is flourishing more than ever in Asia,” added Rungsrid.
The Thailand Open will become the latest addition to WSG’s impressive list of Asian golf events that includes the Asian Tour’s flagship event, the USD 5 million Barclays Singapore Open, the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia and the Hero Honda Indian Open.
“Our record speaks for it itself and we are indebted to the Thailand Golf Association for allowing us to work alongside them so that we can build the Thailand Open into one of the premier events in the region once again,” said WSG senior vice-president Chris Jordan.
Sources revealed to PA Sport that event organisers are currently negotiating with the Asian Tour to add the Thailand Open to next year’s Tour calendar.
The date and total prize money for the event have yet to be finalised.