Thongchai seeks happy memories in Korea

Thu 22 Sep 2016

Thongchai seeks happy memories in Korea

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Incheon, Korea, September 22: Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee will head to Korea with happy memories when the highly-anticipated KRW 1.2 billion (approximately US$1 million) Shinhan Donghae Open gets underway at the Bears Best Cheongna Golf Club next week.
Thongchai claimed his breakthrough on the Asian Tour with his maiden win at the Korean Open in 2000 and that victory played a pivotal role in setting him on his way towards establishing himself as one of Asia’s greatest players and a global golf star.
Today, the 46-year-old holds the illustrious honour of winning a record three Asian Tour Order of Merit titles along with 13 career victories and four wins on the European Tour.
It is no secret why Thongchai is delighted to be heading back to the country which launched his golf career.
“I’ll always remember my first win in Korea as that was also the first in my career. More importantly, that win also gave me the confidence to go on and achieve bigger things.
“If I didn’t win that tournament, I would have lost confidence and I don’t think I would have won so many tournaments. Winning in Korea made me hungry to win more tournaments,” said Thongchai.
Inaugurated in 1981, the long-established Shinhan Donghae Open sees the return of the Asian Tour as its new sanctioning partner along with the Korean PGA. The popular event last featured on the Asian Tour schedule in 2002.
Thongchai will be hoping to add his name to the Shinhan Donghae Open’s roll of honour that includes Asian Tour honorary members K.J. Choi and India’s Jeev Milha Singh, Korea’s Charlie Wi and Sangmoon Bae as well as international luminaries Paul Casey of England and Japan’s Seiji Ebihara.
He will however face stiff opposition from home favourites, K.T. Kim and Younghan Song, all winners on the Asian Tour.
Defending champion and Olympian Byeonghun An of Korea will also make it an intimidating contest for the Thai legend.
The world number 35 has enjoyed a good season so far, notching four top-five finishes including a tied-second placing at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on the PGA TOUR.
Other marquee names for the Shinhan Donghae Open include Australia’s
Scott Hend, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit, New Zealand’s Danny Lee and India’s Arjun Atwal, who is the first Indian golfer to win on the PGA TOUR.
“It’s a good field but I’m also all ready for the challenge. I look forward to a good contest,” said Thongchai.
Sponsored by the Shinhan Financial Group for the past 32 years, the Shinhan Donghae Open will also be the last major tournament on the KPGA schedule.
As an added motivation for players from the KPGA, the top three players not otherwise exempt will earn places at the US$1.1 million Venetian Macao Open scheduled from October 13 to 16.
About Shinhan Financial Group
Shinhan Financial Group (SFG) is one of the leading financial institutions in Korea. It is the largest financial services provider in Korea in terms of both total assets and profitability. Shinhan Financial Group currently has 13 direct subsidiaries and 24 indirect subsidiaries offering a wide range of financial products and services, including commercial banking, corporate banking, private banking, credit card, asset management, brokerage and insurance services. The Group currently serves approximately 18.3 million active customers through 25,600 employees at 1,488 network branches group-wide. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and operates 156 offices in 19 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Poland, Philippine and Dubai.www.Shinhangroup.com
About the Korean PGA
KPGA is the organization of the Korean men's professional golfers and teaching professionals which was founded in 1968. At present, with 6,000 members, KPGA's goal is to enhance the careers of its members as well as to develop the game of golf through professional tournaments.
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 ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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