Logo Singha-Panasonic HuaHin OpenReigning ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit champion Gunn Charoenkul will try and defend his Singha Panasonic Hua Hin Open title when the tournament tees-off tomorrow at Royal Hua Hin Golf Club.

The talented Thai golfer is joined in what is the fourth leg of the season on the ASEAN PGA Tour by a strong field including countrymen Prayad Marksaeng, this year’s Merit list leader, Prom Meesawat, Kwanchai Tannin, Jazz Janewattanond, Wisut Artjanawat and Namchok Tantipokhakul.

Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai, who won this event in 2013 aged just 14, is also competing.

It was in July last year that Gunn shot a closing four-under-par 68 on Sunday to win in Hua Hin, his third title of the season and fourth overall on the ASEAN PGA Tour.

He triumphed by a stroke after a ding-dong battle with his more experienced countryman Chapchai Nirat, who led by a shot after the third day and put further daylight between himself and Gunn early in the final round.

Gunn, who won the season-opening Singha Esan Open and the PGM-ASEAN PGA Melaka Championship, fought back gamely and three birdies in a row from the 13th hole coupled with an awesome display of clutch putting saw him seal victory on 15-under-par total 273.

“It feels good, it feels great – I am glad it is all over,” said Gunn after his final ASEAN PGA win in 2014.

The rising Thai star regularly hones his game at a three-hole practice facility that his father built for him at his home in Khao Lak, southern Thailand.

He topped the money list with earnings of US$34,299.

Two years ago, Phachara made headlines around the world when as an amateur he became the youngest golfer ever to win a professional event when he went 13 under at the Hua Hin Open.

Phachara was born on May 3, 1999, nearly seven months younger than New Zealand’s Lydia Ko when she won her first professional title, the New South Wales Open in January 2012, also at 14.

Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa had held the record prior to Ko, winning at the old age of 15 years and 8 months in 2007.

Prayad is the man to catch this season on the ASEAN PGA Tour as he claimed the Singha Pattaya Open in March, for the second successive year, and leads the Merit list with winnings of US$15,255.

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