Tour Supremo Predicts Greatness from Young Stars

Tue 26 Mar 2013

Tour Supremo Predicts Greatness from Young Stars

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Chiangmai, Thailand, March 28: Asian Tour supremo Kyi Hla Han believes a new wave of exciting talents will start to dominate the region’s premier Tour following stand-out performances by the region’s young guns over the past month.

India’s Anirban Lahiri, 25, started a glorious run for the young guns by claiming his third Asian Tour victory at the SAIL-SBI Open on home soil earlier this month before countryman Gaganjeet Bhullar, who is a year younger, settled for second place in the co-sanctioned Avantha Masters as his bid for a fifth career Asian Tour title fell just short.


Then last weekend, Thailand’s exciting 23-year-old Kiradech Aphibarnrat stole the thunder by winning the star-studded Maybank Malaysian Open for his second Asian Tour title.

“We’re witnessing some really great golf by the Asian Tour’s young generation of golfers,” enthused Han, who is the Tour’s Executive Chairman and a former Asian number one himself.

“The quality of play which is being produced by the likes of Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Kiradech Aphibarnrat has been wonderful to watch, truly world class indeed.

“With age on their side, they could start to dominate the scene very soon, just as how the likes of Thongchai Jaidee, Jyoti Randhawa, Jeev Milkha Singh, Prayad Marksaeng and Thaworn Wiratchant consistently contended at the highest level on the Asian Tour in the past decade.

“It is wonderful to watch so many of these young players, who were born and bred on the Asian Tour, coming of age. They will only get better and I foresee many of them going on to leave an impression on the world stage very soon. This could be the start of another exciting era for the Asian Tour,” added Han.

Kiradech claimed a stellar win on Sunday which shot him to the top of the Order of Merit. Along with Lahiri and Bhullar, all three will feature in this week’s inaugural US$750,000 Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT at the Alpine Golf Resort-Chiangmai.

Major champions Ernie Els of South Africa, New Zealander Michael Campbell and Y.E. Yang of Korea are headlining the full-field Asian Tour event, the first ever in the northern city of Chiangmai.

Thongchai, who holds a record three Order of Merit crowns, believes the new generation of players coming through will provide the boost for the game to maintain its rapid growth on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season in 2013.


“I think Kiradech will be the future,” predicted Thongchai.

“He needs to plan his career and know what he wants to do. Looks like it will be easy for him to win the Order of Merit this year. I think he will have a good chance to win if he keeps playing like this. This tournament will also be a very good chance for him.

“It’s good to see the new generation coming through on the Asian Tour. Golf has improved over here because the opportunities to play on the Asian Tour have provided the foundation for players to become better.

“I have played with Kiradech quite often, played the World Cup with him. He’s got everything except for experience. He needs to get more experience for the future. Winning last week will help him a lot. I think he will be a star player in the future.”

The Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT is primed to extensively promote Chiangmai as a top golfing and tourist destination through the four days of live broadcasts on the Asian Tour’s global television platform, which reaches over 200 countries and 650 million homes.

The Chiangmai Golf Classic is supported by PTT Group Company Limited, one of the largest corporations in Thailand, while other premier sponsors include PTT Public Company Ltd, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, Advanced Info Service Plc, Siam Commercial Bank PCL, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Provincial Government of Chiangmai, Chiangmai Provincial Administrative Organisation, CAT Telecom Public Company Ltd, TOT Public Company Ltd, Thai Airways International Public Company Ltd, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, Samart I-mobile PCL , Loxley Wireless Co Ltd, Forth Corporation Public Company Ltd, J.R.W Utility Plc, Standard Tour Co Ltd, Advanced Information Technology Public Company Ltd, Fenix Apparel and Accessories Co Ltd and Sports Authority of Thailand.

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), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistic Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), 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

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