11th September 2019 | Asian Tour

Thai rookie Kosuke seeks glory at the Classic Golf and Country Club Int’l C’ship

Gurgaon, India, September 11: Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate Kosuke Hamamoto of Thailand will be looking to translate his impressive form into a victory at the inaugural Classic Golf and Country Club International Championship, which starts on Thursday.  

Kosuke, who entered the spotlight when he came in runner-up at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Chinese Taipei last week, is inspired to bid for a successful outing when he gets his campaign underway at the Classic Golf and Country Club.

Thanks for his commendable result last week, the 20-year-old Thai has virtually locked up his Asian Tour card for 2020 after playing only five events so far this season. He will be aiming to go one rung better in the inaugural Asian Tour event, which offers a prize purse of US$300,000.

India’s Chikkarangappa S. and Viraj Madappa are counting on home advantage to steer themselves to a victory this week. Their title ambitions will be put to test by Korea’s Taehee Lee and Masahiro Kawamura of Japan, placed fourth and fifth respectively on the Order of Merit.

The host venue, which comprises of an 18-Hole Signature Championship Course as well as a 9-Hole Signature Canyon Course, witnessed a slice of history in 2009 when Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat recorded the world’s lowest 72-hole score with a 32-under-par to win the third of his four Asian Tour titles then.

Prior to hosting its first Asian Tour event in 2009, the Classic Golf and Country Club was also home to the prestigious Indian Open in 2000 and 2001. Over the past few years, it has also played host to several tournaments on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).

Did you know?

  • Kosuke Hamamoto enjoyed a runner-up finish in Chinese Taipei last week to move to 27th place on the Order of Merit, where he has virtually retained his playing rights for the 2020 season.
  • The 20-year-old, whose father is Japanese and mother is Thai, joined the play-for-pay ranks after coming through the Qualifying School last December.
  • In just five starts on Tour prior to this week, Kosuke has secured a tied-16th place result at the Sarawak Championship last month and a tied-10th finish at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open a fortnight ago.
  • Kosuke also enjoyed some solid results on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) this season, having notched four top-10s, including a runner-up finish at the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation.
  • Hamamoto started playing golf at the age of eight. He is a former Thai Amateur star, South East Asia (SEA) Games individual gold medalist and was part of the first Thai team to win the Nomura Cup in Malaysia in 2017.
  • He was also part of Team Thailand that finished second in the Team event at the SEA Games in 2017.
  • Chikkarangappa S. is a two-time winner on the ADT. He has also won twice on his domestic circuit this year.
  • Chikka will be chasing for his first title on the Asian Tour this week.
  • He sits in 21st place on the Order of Merit, thanks to a tied-20th place finish at the lucrative Maybank Championship and a top-10 finish at his National Open earlier this season.
  • Viraj Madappa will be chasing for his second Asian Tour title this week. The 21-year-old claimed his breakthrough on home soil when he was still a rookie last August.
  • Madappa holds the record of being the youngest Indian player, at the age of 20, to win on the Asian Tour. He finished his rookie season in 35th place on the 2018 Order of Merit.
  • Madappa has endured a lacklustre season, having made only five cuts in 12 starts to sit in 67th place on the money list. The young Indian, however, is getting his season back on track with back-to-back top-25 finishes in Indonesia and Chinese Taipei coming into this week.
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