Looking back at 10 years: Boonchu's historic win at Thailand Open 2004

Mon 15 Jul 2013

Looking back at 10 years: Boonchu's historic win at Thailand Open 2004

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As the Asian Tour continues to celebrate its 10th season this year, we take a walk down memory lane to 2004 – the year when the Asian Tour was established as a player-led organisation.
This week, we kick off the series by reflecting on Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit’s triumph at the season-opening  Areeya Thailand Open.
Boonchu captured the hearts and minds of spectators when he put up a masterful performance to win the US$300,000 Areeya Thailand Open which was held at the Royal Thai Air Force Golf Club from January 22 to 25 in 2004.
The win was an even more a memorable one for Boonchu as that victory saw him recapture his home Open 12 years after winning it for the first time in 1992.
He also had the distinction of writing his name into the record books as the Asian Tour’s eldest winner at 47 years and 258 days.
“This is by far the best win of my career,” said Boonchu, who finished with a four-day total of 18-under-par 270 and pocketed US$48,450.
“It was nice to become the second Thai to win the Thailand Open back in 1992 but to become the first player to win this event twice is really special. I feel lucky,” added Boonchu then.
The local hero carded a superb final round of five-under-par 67 to win the title by two strokes ahead of compatriot Prayad Marksaeng and Korea’s Kim Jong-duk, who shot 69 and 71 respectively.
Kang, who had led from the opening round after a 63, failed to find any rhythm in his game as he dropped three bogeys and a double bogey on his front nine.
Fast forward 10 years later, Boonchu proved that he still has what it takes to stay in the upper echelons of the game. Even at the age of 56, the decorated Thai still managed to finish in 61st place on the Order of Merit last season, earning his full playing rights for 2013.
The veteran lauded the growth of the Asian Tour in the last few years and hopes to see more young Asian players breaking through the ranks.
“The Asian Tour has grown tremendously in the last 10 years. There are many young and talented players now and I hope to see even more young players playing and winning on the Asian Tour,” said Boonchu.
“The Asian Tour is consistently improving. In the past, prize monies were much lesser and there wasn’t much room for players to improve. Now, prize monies are higher and there is more room for players to improve their games. Everything is improving on the Asian Tour. I hope the tour can continue to maintain its good image and continue to produce more good players to compete on the world stage,” added the Thai.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), SAXO Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.