Stenson and Rose aim for winning run

Tue 10 Dec 2013

Stenson and Rose aim for winning run

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Bangkok, December 10: Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose of England, ranked third and fourth in the world, are aiming to end their glorious seasons on a high note at the Thailand Golf Championship which starts on Thursday.
Stenson, the first man to win the Race to Dubai and PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, and Rose, who lifted his first Major title at the U.S. Open in June, will headline a star-studded cast at the US$1 million Asian Tour full-field tournament at the magnificent Amata Spring Country Club.
Other top names include current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, former Masters Tournament champion Bubba Watson, Spanish Ryder Cup star Sergio Garcia, colourful American Rickie Fowler, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa and title holder Charl Schwartzel of South Africa.
“I've had the season of my life obviously,” said the 37-year-old Stenson, who arrived at the Royal Thai Navy Hall located on the banks of the Chao Phraya river which overlooks the Grand Palace by boat.
“I've BANGKOK-THAILAND-101213-TGC-PRESS CONFERENCE-013played some great golf from the summer onwards, and this is my last event of the year, so I hope to finish off with some good playing here. It's been a big year for me and it's going to take some great golfing to match that going forward,” added the Swede, who enjoyed a golden summer which included three victories in America and Europe plus top-three finishes at the Open Championship and U.S. PGA Championship.
Fresh from a fourth place finish at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, Stenson conceded he would need to muster every ounce of energy to ensure he signs off the year on a winning note in his debut appearance at the Thailand Golf Championship, which is celebrating its third edition this week.
“We're kind of running on fumes at this stage, but I'll try and squeeze another good four days out of myself and my game, and try and challenge these boys for the title.  I’ve played at Amata Spring a couple times in the past.  So, at least I know the course pretty well,” said the Swede, who holds 16 victories in his career.
Like Stenson, Rose is also making his first appearance at the Thailand Golf Championship and will be looking to end his spectacular season on a strong note.
“My first 15 hours has been fantastic. We’ve been treated well, the hotel is fantastic and turning up for a press conference by boat and seeing some iconic landmarks in Bangkok is a perfect way to start the week,” said the 33-year-old Rose.
He said winning the U.S. Open will forever remain as one of the major highlights of his life.  “Wining a Major, it’s still sinking in,” he admitted.
“It’s an amazing feeling and a lot of relief. A lot of great players haven’t won a Major and to get that monkey off my back is fantastic. To also do it on Father’s Day, it was an amazing feeling to share with my late father. I’ve seen my good friends Rory (McIlroy) and GMac (Graeme McDowell) hugging their fathers (after winning the U.S. Open) and I thought I would never feel that. I was surprised how good it felt, I could feel my late dad was with me that day.
“It tBANGKOK-THAILAND-101213-TGC-PRESS CONFERENCE-004akes off a lot of pressure. As a kid growing up, I always dreamed of winning a Major and it’s nice to have that. At this point of my career, it’s not time to reminisce; I am motivated to win more,” added Rose.
Garcia is making his third straight appearance in the Thailand Golf Championship where he finished fourth last year. The swashbuckling Spaniard said he was eager to finally win at Amata Spring and follow in the footsteps of Schwartzel last year and England’s Lee Westwood in 2011.
“They (organisers) do a great job, even though the tournament, it's quite young, I think Khun Sarath Ratanavadi (Executive Director of Amata Spring) and the people at the club have done an amazing job. The tournament's been getting stronger and stronger every year.  It should be a very exciting, great week,” said Garcia.
Fowler will be hoping to celebrate his 25th birthday on Friday with a win in his first start at the Thailand Golf Championship. “I feel like I have a bit of connection to the Asian countries, being a quarter Japanese. I'm looking forward to spending some time in Japan the next few years, and definitely playing more throughout Asia,” said the American.
A stellar Asian Tour cast which consists of five Order of Merit champions, eight of the current top-10 players on the rankings and 48 Tour champions will feature in the tournament this week.
Home star Thongchai Jaidee, the only man to win three merit crowns and named last week as Asian captain for the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM against Europe, will be amongst the star attractions at Amata Spring.
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 as Siam Commercial Bank, Gulf JP, Toyota, Tourism Authority of Thailand, PTT, PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited, Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Thaioil, IRPC, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Omega, Nooter / Eriksen, Samithivej Hospital, Starwood, CNN, SuperSports, Heineken, Ricoh, Graham Beck Wines, EST Cola, Panasonic, Srixon, Central Pattana, Bangkok Post and Amata Spring Country Club.
Thailand Golf Championship tickets are available at Thaiticketmajor at Baht 300 each for Round 1 and 2 (December 12 and 13). The price for Round 3 (December 14) is Baht 400, and for the final day on December 15 the price is Baht 500. A 4-day package ticket is only Baht 800. Children below the age of 16 and senior citizens 60-years-old and over can enjoy Thailand Golf Championship for free. Special offers for SCB Credit Card, PTT Blue Card, SPG Member Card and Samitivej Patient and Staff Card holders are available till December 11, 2013. Please call 02-262-3456 or visit www.thaiticketmajor.com for details.
Thailand Golf Championship will be broadcasting through Asian Tour Global TV and TrueVisions and you can follow the updated news on our website: www.thailandgolfchampionship.com or facebook: www.facebook.com/ThailandGolfChampionship
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), 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.