Asian Tour Order of Merit champions are poised to make the US$750,000 King’s Cup a hotly-contested event when it gets underway at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club next week.
Korean-American David Lipsky, Philippines’ Juvic Pagunsan will feature in the King’s Cup alongside defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, who is expected to put up a stout defence of his title, which was also his last victory on the Asian Tour in 2014.
“It is a great honour for me to defend my title at the King’s Cup. The King’s Cup is such an important tournament for the Thai players. I’m proud to be a winner of the King’s Cup and I’ll do my best to defend this prestigious trophy,” said Thaworn, a Merit winner in 2005 and 2014.
Apart from the inaugural year in 2009 where Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin emerged victorious, the prestigious King’s Cup has been kept on home soil and it is a record which Thaworn is determined to keep.
“There are many young and up-coming players who will challenge for the trophy. But it is different when you are fighting for the King’s Cup because this is a trophy which you want to keep in Thailand,” said the 49-year-old.
Lipsky will be bidding to break the Thai’s stranglehold and capture his first title since his landmark win in Switzerland in 2014.
Lipsky’s triumph at the Swiss Alps played a huge role in securing the Merit crown for him that year.
Having played much of his golf in Europe since then, a return to Asia where he has enjoyed much success could prove to be the antidote to end his two years barren run.
Pagunsan is also eyeing his return to the winner’s circle with a victory at the King’s Cup where the Major winner Trevor Immelman is making his return to Thailand for the first time since 2004.
For the first time in the history of the King’s Cup, the tournament will be sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour and local viewers will get the chance to catch all four days of live action on the TrueVisions network in Thailand from July 28-31.
The field for the King’s Cup will comprise of 90 players from the Asian Tour, 25 from The European Tour, 25 from Thailand PGA and 16 invite spots. Prize money earned from the tournament will count towards the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit and also on the Race to Dubai ranking on The European Tour.
2009 – Chan Yih-shin (Tpe)
2010 – Udorn Duangdecha (Tha)
2012 – Arnond Vongvanij (Tha)
2013 – Prayad Marksaeng (Tha)
2014 – Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha)