Thongchai continues to give back with Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2019


Lopburi, Thailand, January 23: The Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2019 will return to the Asian Development Tour (ADT) for its fourth edition from February 14 to 17 at the 13th Military Circle Golf Course.

Lopburi, Thailand, January 23: The Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2019 will return to the Asian Development Tour (ADT) for its fourth edition from February 14 to 17 at the 13th Military Circle Golf Course.

Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee will assume responsibility of being a tournament host at the ฿4,000,000 (approximately US$123,000) event staged in his hometown of Lopburi where he grew up playing golf on the Military Circle Golf Course.

Jointly sanctioned by the ADT and the All Thailand Golf Tour, the event was first inaugurated by Thongchai in 2015 with the intention of providing more playing opportunities for the region’s rising stars as well as to draw attention to his charitable foundation.

Countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat, currently ranked 38th in the world, first lifted the prestigious trophy in 2015. Compatriot Chapchai Nirat, a four-time Asian Tour winner, staged a sensational comeback the following year, where he overcame a four-shot deficit to win by six shots.

Thongchai, a three-time Asian Tour number one and an eight-time winner on the European Tour, expressed his excitement for the return of the event which he hopes will continue to unearth new talents from Thailand.

“I formed the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation in 2009 to give access to the game of golf to the underprivileged. I have achieved so much in my career and I just want to give back to the golfing community that shaped my career.

“Thailand has produced world class players like Kiradech, who was the Asian Tour number one in 2013 and has become the first Thai to earn a full PGA Tour card. I hope sponsors will continue to support events like these and encourage the growth of talents in the region,” said the 13-time Asian Tour winner.

Jakraphong Thongyai, Commissioner of the All Thailand Golf Tour, said: “We are thrilled to sanction this event again with the ADT for our rising talents to improve on their skills. It is great to see accomplished golfers like Thongchai giving back to the game and we hope the event will inspire young people to pick up the sport.”

Mr. Methee Sudasna Na Ayudhaya, President of the Thailand Professional Golf Association, also showed his full support for the event: “I am glad to have the return of the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2019 on the ADT that will provide more playing opportunities for Thai and international golfers.”

Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer Cho Minn Thant said: “We look forward to stage another successful edition of the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2019 with the support of Thongchai and his foundation, to provide a platform for aspiring professionals to compete against the best.

“On behalf of the ADT and our players, we would like to thank the All Thailand Golf Tour and the Jaidee Foundation for their unwavering support towards developing the game across the region,” added Cho.

A total of 156 players will feature in the popular showpiece with 36 invites and the remaining field split between the ADT and the All Thailand Golf Tour.

As part of Thongchai’s efforts to give back to his hometown, a welcome party where players have been encouraged to wear Thailand’s traditional costume has been organised on February 12 at the Chao Phraya Wichayen Palace.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

All ADT events offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

Ends.


Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 13: Thailand’s Itthipat Burantanyarat rediscovered his winning form when he fired a seven-under-par 64 to win by two shots in the final round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Sunday.

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 13: Thailand’s Itthipat Burantanyarat rediscovered his winning form when he fired a seven-under-par 64 to win by two shots in the final round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Thai broke his three-year title drought on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) by staying focused on a pressure-filled final day to clinch the ฿4 million (approximately US$121,700) event with his winning total of 26-under-par 258.

Itthipat will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$21,862.98 and receive 10 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points following his victory at the fifth edition of the event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.

American Johannes Veerman made a final charge with a 63, to share second place on a 260 total with England’s Steve Lewton, who ended his campaign with a 66 at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

Starting the round with a one-shot deficit, the Thai grabbed birdies on holes three, five and seven to make the turn in 32. He made another birdie on hole 10 before dropping his first shot of the day on hole 11 after hitting his tee shot into the water.

“On hole 11 I hit it in the water and made bogey which made me a little nervous with everyone catching up. But I was still able to control my emotions and rely on my short game.

I made three birdies in a row from there which really gave me that last bit of confidence going into the last hole,” added the Thai, who bounced back with four more birdies on his way home.

Itthipat claimed his maiden ADT victory in 2015 in the Philippines and went on to win again the year after in Singapore.

The Thai, who successfully made the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, is thrilled to find his groove so early on in the season and hopes that it will provide a timely boost as he aims to win his maiden victory on region’s premier Tour.

“I am very happy to be finally back to winning on the ADT. Winning on home course and in a tournament under Boonchu’s name. I have wanted to win this tournament so bad and I  finally did it.

“My game wasn’t that good and I was struggling for a bit the last couple of years. But now I am just confident in my game and it gives me confidence to win on the Asian Tour,” added Itthipat.

Veerman, the 2016 ADT Order of Merit winner, took pride in his performance at the ADT season-opener where he marked his card with one eagle, seven birdies and a bogey.

“It was a great day today. I knew I had to put pressure on those guys, they’re great players and the course is scorable, so to come out strong was great.

“It’s nice that my last tournament of the year last season on the Asian Tour ended well, and I was able to carry that form into this year. I’m not putting any expectations on myself but it encourages me because my game is where I want it to be,” said the 26-year-old American.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.


Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 12: Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond bounced back from a slow start to shoot a five-under-par 66 to take over the lead in the penultimate round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Saturday. The two-time Asian Tour winner birdied four of his closing seven holes to take a one-shot lead into the final round […]

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 12: Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond bounced back from a slow start to shoot a five-under-par 66 to take over the lead in the penultimate round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Saturday.

The two-time Asian Tour winner birdied four of his closing seven holes to take a one-shot lead into the final round with a three-day total of 20-under-par 193 at the ฿4 million (approximately US$121,700) event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.

England’s Steve Lewton carded a 68 to share second place on 194 with home talent Itthipat Buranatanyarat who matched yesterday’s efforts with a 64 at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

The 23-year-old Jazz made an eagle on hole five but dropped his very first shot of the tournament on hole 11 after missing the green when his ball landed in the greenside bunker.

“I think everyone in the group was struggling in the beginning, I didn’t get the momentum right and finally everyone started playing better towards the end.

“My first bogey just came from out of nowhere. It was an easy shot and I just hit it in the bunker and didn’t make an up-and-down. But that was a good wake up call for me because from then on, I was able to find my momentum again,” added the young Thai.

Jazz lost in a play-off in 2016 and missed out yet again the year after with a bogey on his last hole to settle for tied-third. With his game in shape, he remains optimistic but refuses to get ahead of himself.

“I don’t have much pressure going into tomorrow. It’s good that my game is in good shape. I’m not thinking about winning and I am just taking this as a sign that I am back and playing good golf again,” added Jazz.

Countryman Itthipat, who made the fourth ace in his career in the second round, also made a late charge with four birdies and one eagle on his back nine.

“I didn’t start too well. I was missing a lot of putts and I three-putted hole five. But hole eight turned things around for me. I almost hit it on the green from the tee box and tapped in for birdie,” said the 25-year-old.

The Thai made the mark at Asian Tour Qualifying School this year after finishing in third position. He will go into the final round with the same focused mindset that helped put him in contention today.

“On the back nine, I really got more focused with my shots. I stayed patient and focused on my own game instead of on the leader board. I am excited for tomorrow and will just keep playing my own game,” added Itthipat.

Lewton, who held a one-shot lead going into the third round, traded four birdies against one bogey after struggling with a cold putter.

“It was a pretty frustrating day. I hit it very good and just didn’t make enough putts. I played pretty steady all day. All my birdies were inside six-feet but I just couldn’t hole anything to get any momentum going,” added the one-time Asian Tour winner.

The Englishman stays positive heading into the final round and hopes to channel the same mindset he had when he carded his personal-best score of 62 in round two.

“Going into the final round I will just try and play like the first two rounds. I just want to have fun and make plenty of birdies tomorrow,” added Lewton.

American Johannes Veerman (64) and South Africa’s Mathiam Keyser (65) share tied-fouth on 197. Defending Champion Namchok Tantipokhakul signed for a 69 to sit in tied-20th on a 202 total.

The Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which is jointly sanctioned by the All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT), will be celebrating its fifth edition this year where the winner is projected to earn 10 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Ends.


Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 11: England’s Steve Lewton seized the lead by one shot with a sizzling nine-under-par 62 in the second round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Friday.

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 11: England’s Steve Lewton seized the lead by one shot with a sizzling nine-under-par 62 in the second round of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Friday.

The 35-year-old Englishman produced his personal-best tournament score to lead with his two-day total of 16-under-par 126 total at the ฿4 million (approximately US$121,700) event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.

Home talent Jazz Janewattananond carded a 64 to take second place on 127 while compatriots Itthipat Buranatanyarat (64), Kosuke Hamamoto (65) and Finland’s Janne Kaske (66) share third place on 130 at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

“It was a really great round today. I hit it a lot better and closer than yesterday on a lot of holes but I missed some chances on the front nine. I changed my swing when I was back home and it seems to be working a lot better,” said Lewton.

The one-time Asian Tour winner grabbed birdies on holes three, six, 10 and 11 before chipping in from 20 yards for an eagle. He nailed birdies on 14, 15 and 16 to take his place atop the leaderboard.

“I hit a good drive down the middle and had about 260 yards to the pin. Then I hit my three-wood dead straight and just chipped in from 20 yards for my eagle.

“My short game was really good but I think my driver was the best part of my game today. I only missed two fairways all day and made 16 greens,” added Lewton.

Taking advantage of his course knowledge from when he played the event in 2017, the Englishman was rewarded for his aggressive approach.

“Having played here in 2017, I came into this week a lot more prepared because I knew I could be more aggressive on some holes. On some tee shots I could take 50 yards off if I took the corners and got the right line,” added Lewton.

Jazz had his sharp-shooting iron-play to thank for despite struggling on the greens today. He only missed two greens but totalled 30 putts in his second consecutive bogey-free round.

“Everything was on par today. It was the same as yesterday, a really solid round. I just couldn’t get putts to roll in,” said Jazz, who lost in a play-off in 2016 and settled for second place.

“Really striking it well since I made those changes to my swing last year. My longest putt was about 15-feet today. (About the eagle) I played that hole early in the morning so there wasn’t much wind. I hit my approach to about three-feet and tapped that in for eagle,” said the 23-year-old.

Two-time ADT winner Itthipat stole the thunder with a fantastic ace on hole seven from 154-yards with his pitching wedge.

“This is my fourth hole-in-one! I stepped up to the tee and hit a perfect pitching wedge straight at the pin, it took a backspin and went right in. That was definitely the highlight of my round,” said the Thai.

Kaske, a two-time ADT winner, was disappointed with his driver which he admits is usually his strongest part of his game. He made up for it with a hot putter where he only navigated around the course in 27 putts.

“Putting and my iron play helped me a lot today. There is something wrong with my driver, it just didn’t feel right at all. I noticed it on the range and I knew something was off. So, I need to get that fixed going into the next two rounds because that’s usually the strongest part of my game,” said Kaske.

The halfway cut was set at five-under-par 137 with 62 players advancing into the weekend rounds. Defending Champion Namchok Tantipokhakul signed for a 65 to sit in tied-13th on a 133 total.

The Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which is jointly sanctioned by the All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT), is celebrating its fifth edition this year where the winner is projected to earn 10 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Ends.

Leading second round scores:

126 – Steve Lewton 64 62

127 – Jazz Janewattananond 63 64

130 – Janne Kaske 64 66, Kosuke Hamamoto 65 65, Itthipat Buranatanyarat 66 64

131 – Witchayanon Chothirunrungrueng 65 66

132 – Sorachut Hansapiban 64 68, Mathiam Keyser 65 67, Sam Gillis 67 65, Danny Masrin 68 64, Sadom Kaewkanjana 65 67, Joohyung Kim 68 64


Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 10: Home favourite Jazz Janewattananond basked in the opening round glory after firing a flawless eight-under-par 63 to take the lead by one shot at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Thursday.

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 10: Home favourite Jazz Janewattananond basked in the opening round glory after firing a flawless eight-under-par 63 to take the lead by one shot at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Thai, who finished inside the top-three in the past two editions, renewed his affinity with the course with a bogey-free round highlighted by six birdies and an eagle at the ฿4 million (approximately US$121,700) event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.

Countryman Sorachut Hansapiban, England’s Steve Lewton and Finland’s Janne Kaske share second-place following matching 64s at the Asian Development Tour (ADT) held at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

“I like this course and it suits my game. Every time I come here, I enjoy the weather and the views of the course,” said the two-time Asian Tour winner.

Jazz birdied the second hole before drilling in a 15-footer for eagle on hole five. He grabbed birdies on holes seven and eight for an outward 30.

“I hit a five-wood to about 15-feet and then holed that putt for eagle. It really gave me confidence going into the rest of the round. Everything just worked great for me today,” added Jazz.

The young Thai relished the opportunity to play with his mentor Thongchai Jaidee in the first round, since they last played together on the Asian Tour in November.

“The last time I played with Thongchai I missed the cut in Hong Kong (Asian Tour), but this time I am playing with him again my game feels so much better. I’m listening to the advice he’s telling me and it’s all working out,” added Jazz, who carded three more birdies in the back nine for an inward 33.

Lewton, a one-time Asian Tour winner, marked his card with one eagle, six birdies and one bogey. He credited his low round to the hard work he put in over the off season in which he spent three weeks back in England working on his game.

“It feels great knowing that the work I’ve done over break is paying off. I had a slow start with a bogey on the first but bounced back with an eagle from 180 yards and that turned things around.

“I didn’t finish as well as I would’ve liked because I three-putted from 25 feet on the last hole. But overall a really great round to start the year,” added the Englishman.

The 28-year-old Sorachut also expressed his delight at starting the season on a good note with a personal-best score of 64.

“I made an eagle on the very last hole which was a nice way to end a great round. The ball took a backspin into the hole from 98 yards in and I didn’t expect it,” said Sorachut, who signed for a bogey-free round with five birdies and an eagle.

Six players take tied-fifth on 65, including Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, American Johannes Veerman and South Africa’s Mathiam Keyser. Defending Champion Namchok Tantipokhakul returned with a 68 to sit in tied-39th.

The Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which is jointly sanctioned by the All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT), will be celebrating its fifth edition this year. The winner is projected to earn 10 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

Leading first round scores:

63 – Jazz Janewattananond

64 – Sorachut Hansapiban , Steve Lewton , Janne Kaske

65 – Sadom Kaewkanjana , Witchayanon Chothirunrungrueng , Johannes Veerman , Kosuke Hamamoto , Mathiam Keyser , Kiradech Aphibarnrat

66 – Blake Snyder , Ye Htet Aung , Zaw Moe , Casey O’Toole , Poom Saksansin , Pavit Tangkamolprasert , Itthipat Buranatanyarat , Kwanchai Tannin , Sakchai Sirimaya , Trevor Simsby , Brett Munson , Suttijet Kooratanapisan , Chapchai Nirat , Prom Meesawat , Seungjae Maeng


Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 9: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand is thrilled to begin his season on homesoil after a relaxing break at the season-opening Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which starts on Thursday.

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 9: Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand is thrilled to begin his season on homesoil after a relaxing break at the season-opening Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which starts on Thursday.

The 2013 Asian Tour number one will lend his star credentials to the ฿4 million (approximately US$121,700) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit and staged at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

Kiradech, currently at world number 37 on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), is the highest-ranked player in the 156-men field this week. The lineup also boast some of the biggest names on the region’s premier Tour, including Prayad Marksaeng and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Zaw Moe of Myanmar and Sweden’s Daniel Chopra.

The 29-year-old Thai enjoyed a sensational 2018 when he ended a five-year title drought with his victory in February. He also became the first Thai golfer in history to earn a PGA Tour card.

Wrapping up his whirlwind of a season, Kiradech took a well-deserved layoff from golf to spend time with his family but admits he is feeling nervous ahead of the season-opener.

“I was really excited to play this event. I have been taking it so easy in the off season. I took five weeks off and did not play golf because I just wanted to spend time with my family and friends.

“Standing on the first tee I was very nervous in the first couple of holes during my practice round. It feels like I am not ready to get back into tournament mode. But who knows, maybe things will turn around because I am so relaxed and not thinking too much,” said Kiradech.

The decorated player is looking forward to his debut season on the PGA Tour, but he still recognizes the importance that home events play on aspiring talents in Thailand.

“Having Boonchu host an event is so important. It is great to have so much support for Thai golf from the sponsors and veterans on Tour. I always appreciate having good mentors around me like Boonchu and Thongchai who have become big brothers to me. It would be nice to win a trophy in his name,” added Kiradech, who claimed his third ADT victory last season.

Coming right off a third Asian Tour victory, compatriot Poom Saksansin hopes to bring over his winning momentum into the new year, with a new caddy, his father, on the bag this week.

“It is nice to back on the Asian Tour and playing in familiar conditions. I feel good about my game after winning in December and I hope to start the year on a good note,” said the 25-year-old Poom.

“I know I will have to play really well this week if I want to win. With a new caddy on the bag it will be a bit of a change. My father has only caddied for me twice before so hopefully we will work well together,” added Poom, who claimed his maiden ADT title in 2015.

American Trevor Simsby will make his debut this week on the ADT following a commendable performance at the Asian Tour Qualifying School where he made the mark with a tied-16th finish.

“It’s pretty exciting playing in my first event. I’ve been travelling around a lot in Thailand and Malaysia since Qualifying School ended. It was a bit of a culture shock. I’m getting more acclimated to the weather and my game feels like it’s in really good shape,” said Simsby, who previously played on the Web.com Tour.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Ends.


Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 8: Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert is recharged and ready to impress following a two-week break from golf when he kicks off his year at the season-opening Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which starts on Thursday.

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 8: Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert is recharged and ready to impress following a two-week break from golf when he kicks off his year at the season-opening Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which starts on Thursday.

The 29-year-old Thai took a much-needed break from golf to spend Christmas in Hua Hin with his girlfriend Gam, and is eager to get back into the swing of things as he begins his campaign at the ฿4 million (approximately US$121,700) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit.

He will be joined by a star-studded cast aiming to keep the trophy at home. They include defending champion Namchok Tantipokhakul, world number 37 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee and 10-time Asian Tour winner Prayad Marksaeng.

“I feel really relaxed, it was a really good break after a long season. After my vacation with my girlfriend I am looking forward to playing again,” said Pavit, a one-time Asian Tour winner.

The Thai hotshot won his sixth ADT title on home soil in May last year to match the most number of ADT wins with Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang.

That victory provided a timely boost to his underwhelming season where he struggled with a wrist injury and only recorded two top-10 finishes on the region’s premier Tour.

“I had a wrist injury and was out of action for four weeks. But after my win on the ADT I believe I could contend again and it came at a good time.

“The ADT was really where I started. It is where I got my Asian Tour card and earned Asian Tour status. Every time I come back here I just feel comfortable seeing all the familiar faces,” added Pavit, who won the ADT Order of Merit in 2014.

Countryman Jazz Janewattananond is hoping to bounce back from his defeat in the past two editions of the event, after losing in a play-off in 2016 and making bogey on the last hole in the final round the following year to settle for tied-third.

“I have had some pretty good memories here. This event has always been at the end of the season. Now that it is the season-opener, everyone will want to do well and I definitely do have a different mindset this year.

“I spent a lot of time with Boonchu after he picked me to play at the Amata Friendship Cup. It is such an honour to be playing in a tournament hosted by the ‘Godfather’ because he has helped a lot of the younger Thai golfers on Tour,” said Jazz, who was a part of the winning team at the Amata Friendship Cup led by captain Boonchu Ruangkit.

Buoyed by the confidence from earning his Asian Tour card after finishing in fifth place on the Merit ranks last year, Finland’s Janne Kaske will be chasing his third ADT title since his last win in 2015.

“I played some of the best golf I have ever played in the second half of the season last year. After four years of playing on the ADT I think it really helped me develop this mindset where I am confident even when I see my name on the leaderboard,” said Kaske, who recorded eight top-10 results last season.

Other notable names in the field include American duo Johannes Veerman and Casey O’Toole, Shohei Hasegawa and Kazuki Higa of Japan, Malaysia’s Shahriffuddin Ariffin and Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun, all winners on the ADT.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Ends.


Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 4: Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul is hoping to emulate his success from Asian Tour Qualifying School at the season-opening Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which gets underway next Thursday.

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, January 4: Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul is hoping to emulate his success from Asian Tour Qualifying School at the season-opening Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which gets underway next Thursday.

The 26-year-old Thai is riding high on confidence after securing his Tour card last week and will spearhead a strong local charge at the fifth edition of the ฿4 million (approximately US$121,700) event which will be staged at the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club.

The popular Asian Development Tour (ADT) event hosted by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit will also be graced by Thailand’s leading players like Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thongchai Jaidee, Poom Saksansin and Jazz Janewattananond, who are all winners on the region’s premier Tour.

Gunn successfully made the mark after carding a stunning 10-under-par 61 in the final round of the Asian Tour Qualifying School to take second place last week. With his game in good shape, the Thai feels optimistic in his chase for his maiden victory on the ADT since joining the play-for-pay ranks in 2011.

“My game feels pretty solid, especially coming off a good finish last week. After playing on the Japan Tour and the PGA Tour of China I have gained a lot of experience and I know more about my flaws,” said Gunn, who split his time between playing in Japan and China last season.

“Boonchu (Ruangkit) is one of the greatest Thai players in his generation that has achieved so much success so I really look up to him. I am looking forward to playing there next week and a win will be a huge boost,” added Gunn.

Armed with course knowledge since he last played the event in 2016 and supported by his girlfriend Koyy on his bag, Gunn will be a strong contender for the prestigious trophy which has been kept at home since the inaugural edition in 2015.

“The key to that course is good putting and putting yourself in a good position on the greens to make birdies. The course is wide open with a lot of slopes on the greens. But I have a better game plan for this year and I am ready to kick start a good season,” said Gunn.

Other notable names in the field include former ADT Order of Merit champions Pannakorn Uthaipas and Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand, American duo Casey O’Toole and Johannes Veerman will also be part of the 144-men field vying for victory as the battle for the Order of Merit crown begins.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Ends.

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