Japan's Best Ready for Thailand Golf Championship

Thu 29 Nov 2012

Japan's Best Ready for Thailand Golf Championship

Bangkok, November 29: The top eight Japanese players led by Ryo Ishikawa will head to the US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship next week.

They join a cast of international stars at the Asian Tour’s event, scheduled for December 6 to 9.

Currently ranked 75th in the world, Ishikawa, who is known as the ‘Bashful Prince’, became the youngest ever player to reach 10 career wins on the Japan Golf Tour when he triumphed in the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters earlier this month. Ishikawa is looking to improve on a disappointing 58th place at last year’s event:

“The Thailand Golf Championship is very important for me to earn World Ranking points because the world's best players will be in the field. I enjoyed playing at Amata Spring Country Club last year and I am always impressed with its world-class layout. I'm proud that there is such a great course in Asia. It is one of the courses that suit my game very much, so I'm really excited to be returning.”

Ishikawa will be joined by the in-form Hiroyuki Fujita who has enjoyed a magnificent 2012 with three wins and nine top-10 finishes on the Japan Tour this year, which earned him the Japan Golf Tour money list title.

“I'm excited to play in the Thailand Golf Championship that has a strong field and it is an important event for me to earn World Ranking points,” said the 43 year-old.

“I've never played at Amata Spring Country Club before, but I love Thailand for its nice weather and great golf courses. It will be my first trip to Southeast Asia since I played the Indonesia Open in March this year (where he finished 17th) and I hope to play well by using my experiences that I've learned from playing in China, Korea and Europe”, Fujita added.

The top-ranked Japanese on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, Masanori Kobayashi, will also be joining his compatriots in Thailand. Kobayashi secured an invitation by winning the 2012 Asia Pacific Panasonic Open, a title he won by shooting a sensational 62 in the final round of the tournament.

Ranked fourth on the Japan Golf Tour money list, and currently ranked just inside the World’s top 100 at 98th, Yuta Ikeda will be making his debut at the Thailand Golf Championship. He is excited about the opportunity and looking forward to mounting his challenge at Amata Spring:

“I am getting nervous but I’m looking forward to playing at Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand. This is my final tournament of the year so I will do my best. It’s my first time to play the course so I need to be cautious.”

Japan Tour legend, Shingo Katayama, brings huge experience to the tournament. His 26 Japan Golf Tour victories put him seventh on the career wins list and 3rd on career prize money. Furthermore, he has topped the Japan Golf Tour money list five times: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008. A perennial crowd favorite and always distinctive in his cowboy-style hat, Katayama is sure to enjoy enthusiastic support at Amata Spring nest week.

The Japanese contingent is rounded out by Daisuke Maruyama, the top Japanese finisher in the 2011 Thailand Golf Championship where he finished 4th, Daisuke Katoka and Kenichi Kuboya, all three of whom are currently ranked in the top 200 in the world.

Japan’s finest will be joined by some of the best players from across the world including the current Masters champion, Bubba Watson, former world number one and defending champion Lee Westwood and former Major Champions Darren Clarke, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and John Daly. Other star players include Ryder Cup heroes Sergio Garcia and Nicolas Colsaerts who will share the fairways with leading players from Thailand including Thongchai Jaidee, Chawalit Plaphol, Prom Meesawat and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

About the Thailand Golf Championship

The primary organizers of the event are Gulf Sports Management, the Asian Tour and IMG. They have been well supported by  both government and private organizations such Gulf JP, Siam Commercial Bank, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Toyota Motor Thailand Company Limited, PTT Group Company Limited, PTT Global Chemical Company Limited, Airport Authority of Thailand, PTT Exploration and Production Company limited, IRPC Company Limited, ThaiOil Company Limited, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, EGCO Engineering Company Limited, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company Limited, Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL, Omega, Heineken, Nooter/Eriksen, Board of Investment of Thailand, Samitivej Hospital, Amata Spring Country Club, Ricoh, Starwood Hotel & Resorts, CNN, Vina Concha Y Toro S.A, JDeceaux, Major Group, Fenix, ThaiNamThip, Srixon.

Thailand Golf Championship tickets are available at Thaiticketmajor at Baht 300 each for Round 1 and 2 (December 6 and 7). The price for Round 3 (December 8) is Baht 400, and for the final day on December 9 the price is Baht 500. A 4-day package ticket is only Baht 800. For more information, please call 02-262-3456 or visit

Thailand Golf Championship will be broadcasting through Asian Tour Global TV and TrueVisions and you can follow the updated news on:

Twitter: @ThaiGolfChamps

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), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.