The prestigious Queen’s Cup, staged in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, is poised to unearth the future stars of the game when it returns onto the Asian Tour for its seventh consecutive edition from June 18 to 21.
A host of up and coming players, including Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera and Korea’s Jeunghun Wang, will be looking for their maiden breakthroughs when they head to the challenging Santiburi Samui Country Club in a fortnight.
Thai heavyweight and defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant, who holds an unprecedented 18 victories on the Asian Tour, is expected to face a stiff challenge with the likes of Singapore’s Mardan Mamat of Singapore, Canadian Richard T. Lee, compatriots Chapchai Nirat and Prom Meesawat bidding for top honours at the US$300,000 event.
Wang, who has yet to miss a single cut in his last 22 starts on the region’s premier Tour, will be relishing his prospects of securing his first win at the Queen’s Cup where he finished tied-sixth last year.
“My game’s been pretty good. Overall, I feel that my game has improved and I’m playing better than how I played last year. I’m happy with my results so far but my aim is still to win on the Asian Tour,” said the 19-year-old Korean.
“The Santiburi Samui is a very challenging golf course. There are several blind holes and it’s always very tiring for me whenever I play there. I’m looking forward to the Queen’s Cup and hopefully I can better my results from last year,” added Wang, ranked 18th on the current Order of Merit.
Perera, who endured several near-misses in his quest for his maiden Asian Tour victory last season, is eager for another shot at glory in what is his third appearance at the Queen’s Cup.
“I didn’t play well in my last two attempts but I think it is a course that suits my game a lot. It’s short and narrow. Accuracy is key on this golf course and your short game must be sharp. I am confident of playing better this time round,” said the 28-year-old Sri Lankan.
Perera’s best finish on the Asian Tour came at the 2014 Panasonic Open India where he settled for second place after losing to India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia on the first play-off hole.
He continued his growing reputation by capping another top-five finish in Thailand the week after and finished joint third at the 2015 Hero Indian Open held earlier in February.
“Now that I’ve more or less kept my card for next year, my main focus would be to win on the Asian Tour. I was close to winning a few times last year! The Queen’s Cup is a very important tournament for me because I’m aiming to break into top-10 on the Order of Merit to qualify for the bigger tournaments later this year,” added Perera.
Other notable players include Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Australian Andrew Dodt, American Paul Peterson, Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines, Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang and Chan Shih-chang.
The Queen’s Cup is sponsored by Bangkok Airways Company Limited, Sports Authority of Thailand, Santiburi Samui Country Club, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Company Limited, Siam Commercial Bank PCL, PTT PCL, Bangkok Bank PCL, Sally International, Phatra Financial Group, Tourism Authority of Thailand, The Boeing Company Bangkok Insurance, TAT Leasing Ltd. Malee, Sabre, INK, Hertz, Wine Dee Dee, Panasonic, Arecap Hourse and Haadthip PCL.
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