Thongchai ready to lead Asian Tour charge

Tue 03 Nov 2015

Thongchai ready to lead Asian Tour charge

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Shanghai, November 3: Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee will lead the Asian Tour challenge when the US$8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions gets underway at the Sheshan International Golf Club on Thursday.
As the highest ranked Asian Tour player, the world number 33 will be seeking to end the year with a flourish.
The Thai maestro, a 13-time Asian Tour winner, has enjoyed a spectacular season which has seen him lift his third title on European soil in Germany and also made his debut at The Presidents Cup for the International Team.
“It’s good to be back in Shanghai for the WGC-HSBC Champions. It’s a big event with lots of good players this week. This is a very challenging golf course and it’s not only important to get your distance but also your ball onto the fairways as the rough can be quite thick.
“We (Asian players) have been doing well lately and hopefully we can do it again here,” said the three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.
Going into the Shanghai showpiece with a rich vein of form is also compatriot Kiradech Aphibarnrat, ranked 41st in the world.
Kiradech broke into the world's top 50 for the first time in his career this year and has also shone on the international stage with two wins in China and Scotland this year.
Two spots above Kiradech in the Official World Golf Rankings is India’s Anirban Lahiri, who is also having one of the best runs in his illustrious career so far.
The 28-year-old became the first Indian to represent the International Team at the Presidents Cup last month and is having a season to remember with two wins on the Asian Tour this year.
‘The year has been very good to me so far and I’m looking forward to end it on a high note. There’s lots of world ranking points at stake this week and it’s important for me to play my best golf,” said Lahiri.
Australians Scott Hend and Andrew Dodt will also face off the might of world number two Jordan Spieth, world number three Rory McIlroy, and fellow top 10 stars Rickie Fowler (5) and Henrik Stenson (7) as well as defending champion Bubba Watson (4) who are all confirmed for the event.
India's S.S.P Chawrasia, Canada's Richard T. Lee and Malaysia’s Danny Chia complete the Asian Tour line-up.
Chawrasia narrowly missed out on his fourth Asian Tour win on home soil earlier this year while Lee, 2013 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year, already has three top-10s on the region's premier Tour this year.
Chia, who recently ended his 13-year title drought on the region’s premier Tour, was the first reserve from the Asian Tour’s entry list but will feature in the event after the other qualifying categories were not fulfilled.
Ends.
Notes to editors:
About HBSC
HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to around 58 million customers through four global businesses; Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking.
About HSBC Golf Sponsorships
HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite.
HSBC is a proud patron of The Open Championship and this partnership with The R&A creates a centre of gravity to a global golf portfolio that spans HSBC's key markets.  In Asia, HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world class golf events with its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.  The $8.5m WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and has made such an impact, former World Number 1 Rory McIlroy describes China as “an unstoppable force in world golf.”  HSBC has been co-title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship since 2010 and the event has quickly become one of the biggest events on the European PGA Tour.  In preparation for golf’s return to the Olympic Games at Rio 2016, HSBC is also the presenting sponsor of the Brazil Champions tournament in São Paulo.
However, underpinning those international flagship events is a longer-term ambition to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes. In China, HSBC supports the HSBC China Junior Golf Program, a sustainable long-term structure and framework upon which the future of Chinese golf is being built. In Hong Kong, HSBC supports the HSBC Hong Kong Junior Golf Programme, a structured pathway for children to try the sport for the first time, develop their skills and, for those talented enough, the chance to represent Hong Kong on the international stage.  In the UK, HSBC is sponsor of HSBC Golf Roots - The Golf Foundation's national development programme which promotes the sport in schools, helps youngsters into clubs and uses golf to promote important life skills.
For more details on HSBC's golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com
HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 6,100 offices in 72 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,572bn at 30 June 2015, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages thousands of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment agency, to form WME | IMG.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.