Bangkok, November 23: Masters Tournament champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, Spanish standout Sergio Garcia, England’s Simon Dyson and PGA Tour winner Charley Hoffman of the United States are amongst a sprinkling of world-class names who will add more star power to the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship next month, organisers announced today.
The organising committee also confirmed at a press conference that the US$1 million season-ending Asian Tour tournament will be held as scheduled at Amata Spring Country Club from December 15-18 ,2011 as the flood situation in Thailand is easing.
This season’s Major winners Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke, both from Northern Ireland, world number three Lee Westwood of England, Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa and Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee have earlier confirmed their participation in Asia’s newest championship.
Schwartzel’s confirmation is a huge boost as three of this season’s four Major winners will be on parade at Amata Spring.
Amata Spring Country Club, rated as one of the finest in Asia, was unaffected by the floods and is in perfect condition to welcome many of the world’s best golfers, said Mr Suwat Liptapanlop, Vice President of the Thailand Olympic Committee under the Patronage of HM the King, former Deputy Prime Minister and the President of the organising committee.
He said numerous fund raising activities such as an auction of golf stars’ items and ticket sales were being planned for flood relief.
Mr. Suwat said: “The event will be held from December 15-18, 2011, at Amata Spring Country Club even though certain parts of Thailand have been combatting the unfortunate floods. The situation is now under control, with people and businesses resuming normal operations. With every passing day, the situation is getting better and better, which is great news for all involved. The Amata Spring Country Club was not affected by the floods and is in perfect condition to welcome the star players from all over the world.
“The Bangkok floods certainly affected both the social and economic sectors in Thailand. The country’s image was shaken and we need to rebuild the country’s image immediately to gain confidence from worldwide countries with integrated marketing and public relations activities.
“Confirmation that all the world-class professional golfers are still committed to the Thailand Golf Championship is a good sign and a reassuring vote-of-confidence for Thailand and the event. With the support of our partners and players, we will make this tournament a successful one.”
The organising committee also revealed the addition of the following players for the inaugural tournament: Lu Chien-soon (Chinese Taipei), Soren Hansen (Denmark), Michael Stewart (Scotland), Tommy Fleetwood (England), Gregory Bourdy (France), Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark), Michael H. Thompson (USA), Jamie Donaldson (Wales), Shingo Katayama (Japan), Romain Wattel (France), Stephen Dodd (Wales), Damien McGrane (Ireland), Oliver Fisher (England), John Daly (US), Alex Cejka (Germany) and John Parry (England). Five players from the Japan Golf Tour will also compete in the Thailand Golf Championship.
The slender Schwartzel, ranked 13th in the world, won his first Major title in stunning style at Augusta National in April when he birdied his last four holes to triumph by two shots.