Thaworn Eclipses Westwood

Thu 06 Dec 2012

Thaworn Eclipses Westwood


Chonburi, Thailand, December 6: Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant outscored title holder and playing partner Lee Westwood by one in the opening round of the US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship as he ended the day four shots behind leader Charl Schwartzel of South Africa on Thursday.

The 45-year-old, who currently leads the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, sank four birdies against a lone bogey for a three-under-par 69 at the Amata Spring Country Club as his round was matched by South Africa’s Jbe Kruger, who is third on the Merit rankings.


Fourth ranked Gaganjeet Bhullar of India carded a 71 in what is the penultimate event of the 2012 Asian Tour season. Australia’s Marcus Fraser, second on the Order of Merit, is not playing this week.

The unorthodox-swinging Thaworn produced a chip-in birdie from 40 yards at the seventh hole and took advantage of his straight hitting game to give himself three other birdies on the first, third and 11 holes.

“I have very good tee shots and missed only one fairway which I made par. My tee shot was good, chipping was also good,” said Thaworn, who has won three times this season.

“I’m very happy with my score especially on this golf course. This is not an easy golf course. It is very tough for me but it is easier for the long hitters. It was nice to sink some putts,” added the Thai, who outscored playing partner and defending champion Lee Westwood by one shot.

The slightly built Kruger, who is some US$217,000 behind Thaworn in the race to become Asia’s number one, was delighted he stayed bogey-free in a round which included birdies on the sixth, seventh and 17th holes.

“I’m playing better. Hitting it a lot straighter but just couldn’t get the putter going. The winds were probably a club and a half more in the afternoon but the greens tend to stand up more in the afternoon. I just couldn’t get the putter going,” said Kruger, winner of the Avantha Masters in India earlier in the season.

“No bogeys, that’s good. The rough is penal here. I was in there once and I managed to get it up and down from 100 yards which was good. I’m not really going to watch Thaworn. It doesn’t matter what he is doing. You need to take the pressure off yourself. If I can keep on hitting it good, you never know if the putts go in,” he added.

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.