The US$2million Thailand Classic is set to welcome the best players from the Asian Tour and European Tour when it gets underway at the Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin from February 12-15 next year.
It will be the first time in eight years that the European Tour has co-sanctioned an event in Thailand with the Asian Tour.
A special “Pride of Thailand’’ trophy has been designed for the Classic. The beautiful trophy, featuring unique Thai art, is a reflection of the effort which has gone into establishing this tournament. It signifies the pride of the Thai people in hosting the prestigious event. The trophy was designed by Thailand’s acclaimed Chang Sip Mu craftsmen and is a combination of traditional Thai craft and contemporary design.
The US$2 million prize money is a record for a golf event in Thailand. The tournament, which is also part of the prestigious Race to Dubai series, is expected to attract a strong field including many of Europe’s successful Ryder Cup squad which comprehensively defeated the United States last year.
Ben Cowen, European Tour’s Deputy Director of International Policy said “we are delighted to be returning to Thailand for the Thailand Classic after eight years. It is an honour to have one of our 47 European Tour events held in Thailand, which is also a part of the exciting Race to Dubai series.”
Cowen said he was convinced the tournament would be a great success. “I am sure the European golfing stars will thrill the local golf fans. At the same time the golfers will enjoy the famous Thai hospitality and the wonderful attractions Thailand has to offer.”
Asian Tour’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Kerr was enthusiastic about having the new tournament on the Tour calendar. “The Asian Tour is honoured to celebrate the staging of the inaugural Thailand Classic,” he said. “It is not only the richest golf tournament in the Kingdom but also Thailand’s only co-sanctioned tournament by the Asian Tour and European Tour.’’
He also had high praise for the golf course. “The Black Mountain Golf Club is a wonderful host venue, having won numerous accolades. I applaud the efforts of all of our partners including event promoter MUSE Group for making this event possible.”
The Black Mountain course, which has already hosted three Asian Tour events since it opened in 2007, is regarded as one of the best in the region and has won high praise from leading golfers. It has also been named best golf course in Thailand for the past three years.
The event has been made possible by the two promoters, MUSE Group Bangkok and media investor, Asia Joint Panorama Plc. (AJP). Mr. Riduwan Matni, Chief Executive Officer of the MUSE Group, was confident the tournament would be a huge success.
“We are very proud that Thailand has become one of the 26 countries that host a European Tour event,” he said. “It is the biggest golf event that we have ever worked on.” “With our co-promoter, AJP, we have a commitment for at least three years to make the Thailand Classic the pride of Thai people.”
He said the promoters would do their best to make the Classic one of the region’s greatest golf events. “It is the Thai people who own this tournament,” he ended.
To emphasize their readiness for the tournament, Warathep Rattanakorn, Chairman of Thailand Classic 2015, Riduwan Matni, Group Management, MUSE Group Bangkok and Patsak Osathanugrah, Chairman of AJP, on behalf of the promoters have already presented the US$2 million prize money to Kerr and Cowen, the two representatives of the Asian Tour and European Tour respectively.
The Thailand Classic has also received great support from the PTT Group, Black Mountain Golf Club, Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), Thailand Professional Golf Association (TPGA), Chang, Bangkok Hospital, Titleist and the Intercontinental Hotel & Resort -Hua Hin.
Also supporting the event are ThaiTicket Major, Golf Channel, AJP and Travel Channel. More sponsors are expected soon to ensure the Thailand Classic will be a memorable golfing event.