Kuala Lumpur, November 4: Thai veteran star Prayad Marksaeng will replace Thaworn Wiratchant for the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club later this month.
Prayad, who won the Queen’s Cup on home soil in June for his seventh Asian Tour victory, will feature in his fourth World Cup appearance and will join Order of Merit leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat in representing his nation.
The 47-year-old said: “I’m looking forward to the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf and it’ll be my fourth time competing in the event. I teamed up with Thongchai (Jaidee) previously when the format was different. It’ll be good to represent Thailand in this prestigious event.”
The ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf will feature an individual competition with players shooting for a prize purse of US$7 million from November 21-24, 2013 while nations which have two qualified players in the field will be eligible for the team competition which is offering US$1 million in prize money.
Prayad’s best outing in the World Cup was a tie for seventh position at the 2008 edition in China and the smooth-swinging Thai, who is currently ranked 177th in the world, is aiming to make an impression at Royal Melbourne.
“I have not played at Royal Melbourne before and I’m looking forward to playing well there. It will be interesting to play in this new format for the World Cup and I hope to find my best form and combine my scores with Kiradech for the team competition,” said Prayad.
“Kiradech is playing extremely well right now and he is always capable of producing a good result. His game is perfect and his score will be good for the team. I also need to play well to use our score for the team. Winning or finishing in the top three will not be easy but I will try my best,” he added.
With Kiradech, who has virtually sealed the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown with over US$1.1 million in earnings this season, in top form, Prayad said that a victory at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf would certainly make it a magical year for Thai and Asian golf.
“Surely it would be great if we can win the team event for Thailand. As for the individual competition, I can only play my best. There are many top players from around the world there, so the field will be very strong,” said Prayad.
With injuries a thing of the past for the evergreen Thai, Prayad is hoping that all parts of his game will be in sync when he gets to Royal Melbourne.
“I’m physically fit. The only thing is my putting game which I am working on, especially the short putts. I still can’t get the right combination going. Sometimes my feel is good but ball does not want to get into the hole quick enough,” he said.
Other Asian players who have qualified for the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf through the Official World Golf Ranking are India’s Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, China’s Wu Ashun and Liang Wen-chong, Korea’s K.J. Choi and Bae Sang-moon, Filipinos Angelo Que and Antonio Lascuna, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa and Hideto Tanihara and Bangladeshi Siddikur.
Tickets to witness the ISPS HANDA World Cup are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.com.au.
ISPS is a ‘General Incorporated Association’ based in Tokyo. ISPS was founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world. ISPS has fostered partnerships with golf governing bodies worldwide to help develop the game at every level and promote blind and disabled golf. ISPS’s heritage in supporting blind and disabled golf and Dr Handa’s interest and philanthropic contribution in golf has formed the foundation of its wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport. Visit www.ispsgolf.com
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About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – The European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis. As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999. The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999, while the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas joined the Federation as associate members in 2000 and 2007, respectively.
In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
About the International Golf Association
The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956. IGA is governed by its seven-member Board of Directors. Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman. Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2013 return of the World Cup to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, one of the world’s greatest golf venues.
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