TGC: The Contenders

Tue 09 Dec 2014

TGC: The Contenders

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The highly anticipated Thailand Golf Championship makes it return to the Amata Spring Country Club this week. With the arrival of several of the world’s best players to the Land of Smiles, the US$1 million Asian Tour event promises to be an enthralling contest. We look at the likely contenders for the Thai showpiece.
Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)
Thailand’s highest ranked golfer returns home this week vowing to put up a performance befitting of his status as the Kingdom’s best player. He will be playing at home for the first time this year and will be looking to better his tied-10th finish last year. The Thai maestro has enjoyed tremendous success worldwide having won 13 titles on the Asian Tour and three Order of Merit crowns since he turned professional in 1999. It has also been a sensational year for Thongchai having captained Team Asia to a thrilling 10-10 draw with Team Europe at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in March before going on to win his second title on European soil in Sweden in June.
Bubba Watson (Usa)
The American, who is the highest ranked player at world number four, won his first title outside the United States with an unforgettable final round in Shanghai last month. Expect the Major champion to light up the scene as he seeks another victory on Asian soil at the Amata Spring Country Club.
Martin Kaymer (Ger)
The German is making his debut at the Thailand Golf Championship and will be hoping his first visit to Thailand ends with a memorable win. The former world number one won his second Major championship at the US Open this year and can be counted upon to put up a performance befitting of his status as one of the world’s best players.
David Lipsky (Usa)
The Korean-American will be hoping to wrap up proceedings for the Asian Tour Order of Merit title this week. Fresh off a sixth-placed finish in Jakarta last week, Lipsky remains firmly in control of his destiny and will need another solid performance to seal his place among Asia’s greats.
Anirban Lahiri (Ind)
With important world ranking points at stake, Lahiri knows a good result at the Thai showpiece will bring him closer towards his goal of ending the year inside the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking. The five-time Asian Tour winner still has a mathematical chance of winning the Asian Tour Order of Merit and will be on a dual mission to achieve his targets this week.
Sergio Garcia (Esp)
Garcia will have his title defence cut out for him as he faces a stern test with the likes of over 20 players from the world’s top-200 fighting to dethrone him at the Thailand Golf Championship. The Spaniard showed he can beat anyone on his day and expectations will be high for him to replicate last year’s success.
Lee Westwood (Eng)
The Englishman won the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship in 2011 by a distant seven shots after opening with a 12-under-par score at the beautiful Amata Spring Country Club. He held a whopping 14-shot lead at the halfway stage before cruising to victory. Much will be expected of the former world number one again when he steps up to the tee this week.