Westwood Aims for Repeat

Mon 26 Nov 2012

Westwood Aims for Repeat


Bangkok, November 26: Defending champion Lee Westwood of England is hoping to repeat his extraordinary start to last year’s Thailand Golf Championship when he tees up at Amata Spring Country Club next week for the 2012 edition of the Asian Tour event.

In 2011, Westwood went bogey-free over the first two days to equal the Asian Tour’s 36-hole scoring record of 20-under par, giving him a massive lead of 14 shots at the halfway mark.

Westwood looked on course for a magical 59 on day one but eventually signed for a career low 60 after 18 holes.

“Let’s put it this way – I’ll be more than happy if I can emulate my start of last year,” said the current world number six when asked about his chances next week.

“In fact I probably played better the second round than I did when scoring 60 in the first. I think I was something like 20 under par for the first two rounds. As for a 59 … you never know.”

However, Westwood will face stiff competition for the coveted Thailand Golf Championship title from a host of top-class international golfers including 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who finished tied third in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Sunday.

Schwartzel, currently number 28 in the wold golf rankings, finished second last year at 15-under par, seven shots behind Westwood.

“Lee was out of sight for most of the tournament last time so it would be very nice to get the better of him this time. We always enjoy playing against the best and Lee is definitely one of those,” said the South African.

Both players are looking forward to returning to Thailand and the 7,453-yard Amata Spring championship course.

“Thailand is in my top five places of anywhere in the world to visit so I’m always delighted when I can fit it into my schedule. I love the people, culture and food,” Westwood commented.

“I think the beauty of the course is that it forces you to use every club in the bag and keeps you thinking. Some holes call for a booming drive and others for placement. It’s a really good test and a very well-run tournament,” added the Ryder Cup star.

Schwartzel, who will be joined by his close friend and fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen at the Championship, is also a fan of the course:

“I always enjoy returning to courses I’ve played well on because it usually means the course suits my eye and I have no hesitation in saying that about Amata Spring. Everybody knows it for it having the only floating green in Asia, but I also know just how different the two nines are. Power and accuracy are at a premium on the front and a good short game is necessary on the back.”

Westwood, Schwartzel and Oosthuizen are part of a superb international field coming together at the Thailand Golf Championship next week which also includes 2011 Open Champion Darren Clarke, Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa and the effervescent John Daly.

The tournament offers the chance for leading Asian players to rub shoulders with some of the world’s leading golfers, something that Westwood believes is important to help the game grow in the region.

“It is important in the region’s golfing development that they have as many tournaments of Thailand Golf Championship standard as possible and attract as many of the world’s top players as they can. Golf’s future is beginning to look more and more as if it will have a strong base in Asia,” said the defending champion.

Schwartzel was also keen to emphasise the importance of events such as the Thailand Golf Championship.

“Asia is the rising force in world golf and this is event is one of the best. The future’s bright and not only for the stars coming through, but also the standard of tournaments on offer,” he said.


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 www.thaiticketmajor.com

Thailand Golf Championship will be broadcasting through Asian Tour Global TV and TrueVisions and you can follow the updated news on:

website www.thailandgolfchampionship.com

facebook www.facebook.com/ThailandGolfChampionship

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.