Golden Oldies Ready to Shine

Sat 21 Jan 2012

Golden Oldies Ready to Shine

Yangon, January 21: Veterans Boonchu Ruangkit of Thailand and Filipino Frankie Minoza will be eyeing to rewrite history on the Asian Tour when they play in the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan next month.

Boonchu and Minoza, aged 55 and 53 respectively, are hoping to roll back the years and overtake the record set by Choi Sang-ho of Korea, who became the oldest winner on the Asian Tour at the age of 50 years and 145 days when he won the 2005 Maekyung Open.

They will be joined by a strong line-up of players in the US$300,000 event staged at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club which include defending champion Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan and former Asian Tour number one Jyoti Randhawa.

Japanese Yuta Ikeda, a multiple winner in Japan, Rikard Karlberg of Sweden, the 2010 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year and Angelo Que of the Philippines will also feature in the event from February 2 to 5, which returns on the Asian Tour schedule after a one-year break.

Boonchu, who won the 1997 Myanmar Open, enjoyed a solid season in 2010 where he won four European Senior Tour titles en route to claiming the Order of Merit crown. His success on the Senior Tour also earned him the Asian Tour’s Special Achievement Award.

He played in three Asian Tour events last year, where he made all three cuts highlighted by a sixth placing at the Hero Indian Open. Boonchu will be delighted to return to the Myanmar Open, which has been a happy hunting ground for him, as he finished in tied 28th place in 2010 and tied eighth in 2005.

Minoza is one of Asia’s living legends. The veteran star has won titles across the region since the early 1980s and in 2007, he showed that he could still perform at the highest level by winning once on the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

He played mostly in the Champions Tour in the United States last year with little success and is hoping to turn the corner this season at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan. He showed he has what it takes to play at the highest stage when he finished in tied 39th place at the Thailand Golf Championship, the season-ending event on the Asian Tour in 2011.

Ikeda, a nine-time winner in Japan, will spearhead a strong cast of Japanese players in the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan. He will be looking to emulate the success of Hiratsuka as he seeks a first victory in Myanmar.


About the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan

The Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan is a US$300,000 full field Asian Tour event which will be staged at the highly-rated Royal Mingalardon Golf & Country Club from February 2-5, 2012 and is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Myanmar Professional Golf Association. Myanmar’s national championship will return to the Asian Tour Schedule after a year’s lapse. It was inaugurated in 1996 and the list of champions includes illustrious names such as three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, countryman Boonchu Ruangkit, American Anthony Kang, South African James Kingston, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Keng-chi and Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka who won the event in 2010.

Sponsors include Zaykabar as the title sponsor, Air Bagan as the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Sedona Hotel Yangon, 100Plus (isotonic drink), Srixon (official ball), Inetol (official headwear), and supplier sponsors Canon (office automation supplier).


About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.