Category: Golf Tournaments

Just Do It, The Golfing Way

Just Do It, The Golfing Way

Banyan Golf ClubEveryone likes a good time, right, experiencing new cultures, playing on the best golf courses known to man. Well, I’ve something to tell you, so do we. So much so that we’ve been organizing and holding our own “tournaments” for some time now, and as time has rolled on, these tournaments have turned out to be, not only hugely popular, but sell out events, which are now growing in numbers, venues and countries.

 

Banyan Golf Club Hua HinSo, what are the advantages to registering for one of Golfasian’s events? There are lots of reasons, most of them individual to you. But, at the top of my reason list, you don’t have to do anything; I mean nothing, except turn up and play. Let me explain how it works. First of all, you’ll need to chose which event works best for you and your party. Moving on, once this is done and your departure date arrives, you’ll be met at the airport and transported to your hotel. A welcome chat will re-confirm where and when you’ll be playing, and how things will take place each day. Day one, you’ll be picked up at your hotel for each round, enjoy a fantastic day of golf, meeting lost of new people. All golfers meet at the 19th hole afterwards for a bit of food and a few beers, and generally chat about the day, then transported back to your hotel, with all your unforgettable memories.  Day two, see day one. Honestly, it’s that easy and that fun. Taking part in an organized event is always a little bit of a gamble, especially if you’ve never partaken in one before. But, once that gamble has been made, then it’s plane sailing, and you’ll definitely want to repeat the experience. There is, of course, the added bonus of winning one of the many prizes on offer. The Centara Masters is most probably our largest event, attracting around 600 players. This has become our signature event, a real celebration of golf, becoming the biggest tournament for club golfers in Asia.  The hotels we use are always first class, with plenty of activities to keep the non-golfers busy. You can get a choice of which hotel you would prefer to use.

For 2017 we are holding the following showpiece events. It’s super easy to register, just click on the links below:

12-18 March Amari Hua Hin Golf Week Thailand
Courses Black Mountain x 2
Banyan x 2

19-25 March Amari Pattaya Golf Week Thailand
Courses Laem Chabang CC
Burapha CC
Siam CC Waterside
Siam CC Plantation

11-17 June Centara World Masters – Hua Hin Thailand
Courses Black Mountain x 2
Banyan x 2

18-24 June Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 ball Champs Thailand
Courses Siam CC Old Course
Siam CC Waterside
Laem Chabang
Siam CC Plantation

13-19 August Accor Vietnam World Masters 2017 Vietnam
Courses Montgomerie Links x 2
BRG Danang GC
Ba Na Hills

 

So, go on, take the plunge, register for one of our events, be one of the growing number of golfers to experience the trip of a lifetime. Golfasian can really take care of everything. For a full and comprehensive quote, or just for some advice, please don’t hesitate to email info@golfasian.com

What is like an ultimate golf championship in Pattaya?

What is like an ultimate golf championship in Pattaya?

It seems like we are looking forward a very busy month in June. The next tournament, the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2-Ball Golf Championship ,will be held between June 19-25.

Unlike the Centara World Masters Championship, the Pattaya event will be played in 2-ball format for each of 4 rounds, adding a new dimension to the concept. The championship will be held on 3 golf courses of the Siam Country Club and at the Laem Chabang International Country Club.

Shall we use all of our annual holiday days to be able to participate in these two Thai amateur golf tournaments?

At the same time, we should not forget that there will be in September (4th-10th) in Vietnam another great opportunity, the Accor Vietnam World Masters Golf Championship.

Let’s see, what should we know about the 4 golf courses of the event!

Siam Country Club: Old Course

It is one of the more famous Thailand golf courses. The Siam Country Club, Old Course itself is one of the best in Pattaya. The golf course has hosted several international golf tournaments including the annual Honda LPGA Classic from 2010 onwards. The Honda LPGA Thailand celebrated its 10th anniversary in February 2016. The greens at Siam Country Club Old Course are large, roll fast, are excellently maintained, and extremely undulated.

Depending on which of the 3 nines are played is a long 7,404 or 7,495 yards, which makes the Siam Country Club Plantation Course one of the longest golf courses in Thailand. Where we play today golf there was a sugar cane, tapioca and pineapple plantation. This where the name of the golf course is coming from. The 27-hole layout is routed through rolling terrain, with distant panoramic views of Pattaya Beach and Laem Chabang Port. The golf course was designed by Lee Schmidt of Schmidt & Curley.

The Plantation Course has a decent experience in hosting top-notch golf events as well. It was the home of the 2009 US LPGA and the 2015 Thailand Open.

When you will be there, I can strongly recommend visiting the “Bird Wings” clubhouse that sits on top of the hills. From the front balcony, view of the only “Triple Greens,” in Asia, 3 greens of 3 golf holes occupying almost 3,000 square meters.

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Siam Country Club, Waterside Course

The 3rd golf course of the Siam Country Club was designed by IMG Golf. To make the golf course more challenging, we have to come over several lakes and creeks during the game. It is a par-72, 7,400 yards long golf course where you will not get bored and left unchallenged. To step to the challenge, on the fairways, we will find Paspalum grass while on the green ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass. All of the greens are basically flush with the fairways.

Laem Chabang International Country Club

Probably, this golf course has the most well-known golf course designer: Jack Nicklaus. Laem Chabang consists of 27 holes on 700 acres and each hole is different. The complex was opened in 1995. The Mountain 9 holes is 3446 yards in length around the beautiful hills of the property. The Lake 9 is 3419 yards, with a stream running through it and the Valley 9 is 3619 yards.

This club has also got experience in hosting leading golf tournaments like the 2001 Volvo Classic and the 2002 Thai Senior Open.

Packages

For the event are available with six nights’ accommodation, transfers, breakfast, four rounds of golf including caddies and carts, welcome and presentation dinners, lucky prize draws and other benefits at the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort and Ibis Pattaya Hotel from THB33,625 (approx. USD930) twin share/THB43,760 (approx. USD1210) single.

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7 reasons to play on the Centara World Masters Championship

7 reasons to play on the Centara World Masters Championship

How do you decide on which amateur golf championship is worth to participate? Based on the positive responses from golfers from 23 countries who played in the first Centara World Masters Golf Championship in 2015, I can strongly recommend to you to come and play this year. The Centara World Masters Golf Championship is Asia’s largest and richest amateur week of golf.

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The Centara World Masters Golf Championship will be hosted in the royal city of Hua Hin (Thailand), between 12-18 June 2016. Entry is open to all the male and female golfers over the age of 35 with an official handicap. All golfers play a 72 hole single Stableford event while “A” grade golfers are eligible to compete for the best stroke / gross. Over US $30,000 in prizes and lucky draws will be given away at the gala presentation dinner.

The Centara World Masters Golf Championship will be held in 4 golf clubs:

  1. Banyan Golf Club: 18 holes par 72, 7361 yards;
  2. Black Mountain Club: 18 holes par 72, 7343 yards;
  3. Imperial Lake View Resort & Golf Club: 36 holes, par 72/72, 6915/7015 yards;
  4. Springfield Royal Country Club: 27 holes, par 72, 7043 yards.

As you can see from the list, the organizers are providing the opportunity to play on different kind of golf courses where the quality of green’s and fairways’ conditioning are out of the question.

I have collected 7 reasons why worth to play on the Centara World Masters Golf Championship:

  • Banyan Golf Club: in 2011 was named as the 3rd best course of Thailand at the annual Asian Golf Monthly awards. In 2012, the club received the Asian Golf Monthly awards for Best Clubhouse in Asia Pacific.
  • Black Mountain Golf Clubit is the only course in Thailand ever named in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses Outside the US. The club has hosted 3 Asian Tour events. They were the “Best Course in Asia Pacific” in 2014 and 2015. The par-5 18th makes for a dramatic closing hole.
  • Imperial Lake View Resort & Golf Club: The club offers 36 holes with 4 challenging golf courses: Mountain, Lake, Desert and Link, designed by Roger Packard and Ronald Fream.
  • Springfield Royal Country Club: a TOP 10 golf course in Thailand ranked by Golf Digest; Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

Has something to add to this story? Share it in the comments!

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Great Thailand Golf Tournaments to Participate in During Spring/Summer of 2016

Great Thailand Golf Tournaments to Participate in During Spring/Summer of 2016

There are a slew of great amateur Thailand golf tournaments to participate in during the spring/summer of 2016. Some of the best tournaments are those located in southeastern Asian countries like Thailand & Vietnam. If you don’t mind a little traveling, you can enjoy some of the best golf experiences often at a rather low cost.

Amari Pattaya & Hua Hin Golf Weeks (March 6-12 & 13-19, Pattaya/Hua Hin, Thailand)

Almost 100 club golfers from 10 countries are expected to participate at the Amari Pattaya Golf Week on 6-12 March 2016 and the Amari Hua Hin Golf Week on 13-19 March 2016. These two week-long Thailand golf tournaments for all golfers (with and without handicaps), include four rounds of golf at Championship venues and nightly social and entertainment events.

Also catering to the needs of non-golfers and traveling companions, a series of tours to the regions’ popular attractions and destination experiences will be offered.

Amari will host this unique dual-destination golfing experience at two of its top locations in Thailand: Amari Ocean Pattaya and Amari Hua Hin.

Centara World Masters Golf Championship (June 12-18, Hua Hin, Thailand) &
Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Golf Championship (June 19-25, Pattaya, Thailand)

Club golfers have quickly made the Centara World Masters Golf Championship in Hua Hin, Thailand, the biggest international tournament for club golfers in Asia. 750 golfers from 23 countries attended the second annual Centara Masters in June and similar numbers will contest this year’s event from 12 to 18 June 2016.

With golfers keen to experience more of Thailand’s golfing holiday destinations, tournament organisers have added the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Championship from 19 to 25 June 2016. The Pattaya tournament will see may golfers extend their stay in Thailand to play the 3 courses at Siam Country Club and the highly ranked Laem Chabang. Away from the courses, Pattaya has pristine beaches, amazing restaurants, bars and shopping as well as exotic nightlife.

The Centara World Masters is open to male and female golfers over the age of 35, with 15 divisions guaranteeing you play with golfers of a similar age and standard. The tournament is played over 4 rounds. Hua Hin was voted Asia’s Best Golf Destination and the Centara Masters will see golfers play at Black Mountain, Banyan, Springfield and the composite course at Imperial Lake View.

The Pattaya tournament is played as a team of two, incorporating best ball, ambrose and aggregate competition. Golfers of all ages can compete and there are men’s, ladies and mixed divisions based on combined team handicap. Golfers play the 3 courses at Siam Country Club plus a round at Laem Chabang.

Carts and Thailand’s experienced and ever-smiling caddies are included at all courses. Caddies also wear souvenir caddy bibs featuring players name and country.

Both tournaments are hosted by Go Golfing Australia in partnership with Golfasian and the personalised service, supreme event organisation, big prize pools, nighty socials and dinners with world class entertainment ensure these event are lots of fun and great value.
Limited places remain for both events in 2016. Play both events and save 10%.

For more information visit www.thailandworldmasters.com and www.pattayagolftournament.com

Young Thailand Golfers on Winning Trail

Young Thailand Golfers on Winning Trail

GolfBig_f2Golf in Thailand‘s youth policy especially in golf seems to be paying off.

First a 15 year old Thai player wins in the USA, and Thai Juniors are confident of winning in Asia too next month.

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand won the 63rd U.S. Girls Junior championship recently, scoring a 2 and 1 victory over Dottie Ardina of the Philippines at Olympia Fields Country Club in the States.

It was the first victory in a match-play tournament for the 15-year-old, who captured the AJGA Girls Junior title earlier this year.

“This tournament is so big, it’s like a major to me,” Ariya said.

Earlier this month, she played in the U.S. Women’s Open, as did her sister Moriya, who caddied for her in this tournament because of a sore left wrist.

“I was so confident this week, because it’s easier than the Open,” Ariya said. “The back nine [in the afternoon], I had no power, but I still played good.”

Thailand Golf aims to win fourth consecutive titles in both men’s and women’s teams when it plays the Bangkok golf course, Royal Hills Golf Club outside Bangkok hosts the 32nd Asia Pacific Junior Golf Championship next month.

Thailand Golf Association president Rungsrid Luxitanond told a press conference yesterday that eight countries will take part in the annual tournament – Thailand, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Burma.

The event will take place from Aug 2-5 at Royal Hills Golf Resort and Spa in Nakhon Nayok.

The Thai men’s and women’s squads have won the team titles three times in a row and Rungsrid hopes that both teams will win again.

Bernard Langer did wonders for German golf as did the likes of Faldo and Tiger for their respective countries too.

Thongchai Jaidee the Thai golf hero has also made a big impact here in Asia and even runs his own junior golf academy in Lopburi.

With a golf course within easy reach (there are 250 across Thailand) and a policy where golf clubs actually go out of their way to encourage youngsters to come and play, it’s no wonder golf is in such a healthy state in Thailand.

Caddie Championship in Thailand

Caddie Championship in Thailand

Thailand is well known as a hot golfing destination with over 260 great golf courses and those ever smiling Thai Caddies.

Thailand Golf Caddies Come rain or shine they read the greens, give you the yardage, hold your umbrella and if you are lucky even give your shoulders a quick massage too.

After putting up with us holiday hackers, you would have thought they would have had enough of the golf course, but a large number actually like to play a round themselves.

Smart thinking General Managers encourage them to play on Monday’s or late in the evening, as it improves their knowledge and understanding of their course and the game overall.

Taking this a step further they now hold a series of Caddie Championships in various regions around Thailand sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Singha.

The hunt is on to find Thailand’s best lady caddy golfer.

The TAT – Singha Caddy Championship 2011 consists of six qualifying rounds leading to a grand final at Siam Old Course on September 26th.

All the rounds take place on a Monday rotating across six venues- Putalong Navy in Pattaya, Singha Park in Kong Kaen, Narai Hills in Lopburi, Majestic Creek in Hua Hin, Royal Hills in Nakon Nayok and Burapha in Pattaya.

There are 144 places at each venue and the top 24 golfers will qualify for the grand final. The sponsors’ support allows the caddies to play for a small entry fee that includes green fee, dinner and a lucky draw.

The Grand Final at Siam Old Course will see 144 qualifiers battling for the title of Thailand Caddy Champion, with a first prize of Baht 55,000.

What started out as a simple idea seems to be catching on as a team of Korean Caddies will fly to Thailand later in the year to play a team of Thai Caddies. Later on the will hold the International Caddy Championship in 2012 with teams from China, Japan, Korea and Thailand competing.

Maybe we can expect to find the future Michelle Wie or Yany Seng from these events.

Bottom line is the golf vacationers will now be getting some expert tips which has to be good!

All of this is great news for golfers and caddies alike. Next time you see that smiling face on the first tee, stop and think whether she might be a future LPGA champion as a result of this special opportunity.

Young Guns in Thailand

Young Guns in Thailand

On May 11th-13th 80 youngsters will line up at the Rose Garden Country Club near Bangkok to contest the 9th Mercedes Trophy Junior Golf Masters.

9th-Mercedes-Trophy-Junior-Golf-Masters These juniors aged between 12 and 18 years old have had to win through seven qualifying rounds held at various courses around Thailand, to get into this final and the winners will be then flown to Portugal for the Oceanico World Kids Golf Championship in July.

Everyone keeps saying for golf to survive, we have to encourage youngsters into the game. Well it is events like the Mercedes Trophy that is giving them the chance to taste victory and they seem to be relishing it.

Tiger Woods has been blamed for many things, on and off the golf course. On it, his propensity to spit – a habit which causes more rancor on this side of the pond than stateside – and equally his tendency to react to bad shots by slamming his club into the ground and/or uttering a four-letter word don’t go down well with the sport’s traditionalists. Off it, his business is his own.

One thing you can’t take away from Woods, though, is how he has inspired young players from around the world to seek to emulate his more acceptable side: that is, playing great golf to win great titles. The success of the so-called “Young Guns” on tour has much to do with the global impact made by Woods on the game.

It’s interesting to look back to the 2005 season when there was much talk of a new generation of player emerging. Just who were these “Young Guns” of six years ago? Do the names Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott ring bells?

Now in 2011 we have the likes of Rory McIlroy, Seung-yul Noh, Matteo Manessero, Ryo Ishikawa and Ricky Fowler all winning big tournaments before they reach 22 years old. Here in Thailand 18 year old Thitiphun Chuayprakong made his own headlines by playing in the final round with World number one Lee Westwood in the Indonesian Masters grabbing a creditable 3rd place.

Thailand’s golf hero Thongchai Jaidee is also keen to inspire youngsters to play, and has put his money where his mouth is and finances his own full time golf academy in Thailand.

Prayad Marksaeng was a young Thai golfer when he entered the Mercedes Trophy nearly nine years ago. It inspired Prayad, and he then went on to become a successful golfer on the Asian Tour.

Maybe we will see the next champion emerging with the Trophy on May 13th.

Matteo the World Golfer

Matteo the World Golfer

Matteo Manassero’s been in Asia, the Middle East, off to the States, then to Europe and now back in Asia all since January.

I caught up with him this week at the Maybank Malaysian Open where he had arrived on Monday to really taken in playing back on the slower greens.IMG_1467

I first asked Matteo what were his recollections of playing in his first Royal Trophy?

‘It was amazing. Nobody expected us to win and we as a team were on a high and felt we could win. Everything went right from the beginning actually, and we were up after three holes right to the end. It was fantastic really!’

That was Matteo’s first time in Thailand and he told me he really enjoyed the trip.

‘I enjoyed staying in Hua Hin and I liked Thailand. Everyone there does not have any problems, and you don’t see anger in Thailand. Everyone is smiling and that’s what makes Thailand such a great place.’

I then asked him what he thought about playing at Black Mountain.

‘I think it is a good course. It was fantastic. It was always in good condition and is a well shaped course and the greens are pure. The shape of a course is what makes a great course. It’s quite a long course but I enjoyed that week. The par 3 hole 11 is fantastic with the lake and it is one of the tough holes there. I know Johan Edfors and a few of the other guys actual practice there in the winter and it is definitely a good idea.’

Compared with us weekend golfers and even the Asian Tour players, you guys at the Royal Trophy were getting onto the greens on a few of the par 4’s.

‘Yes we were able to get close with the following wind, so it was worth the go,’ he told me.

Finally I asked him if he plans to keep Asia on his schedule in the future.

‘Yes definitely. I am a great fan of a worldwide tour, as you want to play in Europe, the States, the Middle East and here in Asia. If there is a chance of playing a Worldwide Tour that would be good. It is just a great experience.’

He’s currently ranked 57 in the World and with a good showing in KL where he lead the first round Matteo could be soon in the top 50 at the age of 17 years old.

 

Masteritist at Fever Pitch Here in Bangkok

Masteritist at Fever Pitch Here in Bangkok

23_VMA05_Winner_Shiv Kapur Well I did try everything to kick this dreadful disease…..but in the end the power of seeing a certain 21 year old from Northern Ireland win a green jacket, meant I woke up at 1.45hrs this morning in Bangkok and turned on the TV to watch the 75th Masters.

If you were a Hollywood script writer I don’t think you could come up with such a dream finish.

At one stage there were seven players tied for the lead!

Of course initially I was rooting for Rory McIlroy, but he seemed to disintegrate on the 10th hole and ended up losing it completely in one horrendous hole.

Meanwhile Tiger was playing for the USA as the only American on the first page of the leader board and it looked like a Tiger win was on the cards. Now, what a story that would have been. However after a couple of birdies went he finished with -10 and so can we say the Tiger is almost back on track?

Jason Day a 23 year old from Australia, fellow Ausi Adam Scott and Englishman Luke Donald all came within a whisker, with some gutsy shots on the final three holes.

However playing his usual solid and reliable game was South African Charl Schwartzel who came through the pack to claim the 2011 green jacket.

One could say that before his Major win, Charl was one of the up and coming European Tour players, who always was up there, but had not grabbed the limelight like his great buddy Louis Oosthuizen who won the 2010 British Open.

Well the golf tour moves away from the States this week as a mini Asian swing starts with the 50th Maybank Malaysian Open kicking off this week in KL, followed by the China Open and the Korean Open.

The promoters had paid for the big guns with Kaymer, Oosthuizen, Campbell and McIlroy to turn up at the KLGCC. Listed as a player this morning is a certain Charl Schwartzel playing under category B as a winner of a European and Challenge Tour event.

Now I would assume that the tournament promoter must be thinking he has won the PR coup of the year, by having the current Masters Champion in his field.

Asia is now attracting a lot of big name players over here on a regular basis and this has to be a great advert for our wonderful golf courses dotted about the South East Asian region.

Kaymer was the star turn in KL, Westwood will be teeing off the following week in Jakarta, and Els and co will join them in South Korea.

Behind the scenes I hear that there are plans to hold a major European and Asian tour event here in Thailand.

Asia and in particular Thailand already has a booming golfvacation industry.

With over 280 courses to choose, Thailand has numerous venues available. Watch this space?

Major Winners in Asia

Major Winners in Asia

Sometimes everything just falls into place and as a journalist, all the travelling and waiting around just pays off.

Being based here in Bangkok, the big names on the professional circuit tend to side step playing in our local tournaments, perhaps with the exception of the popular Royal Trophy.

Therefore twice a year I need to stock up with pictures and stories by covering the bigger events here in Asia. On Tuesday I therefore flew to Kuala Lumpur.

This week was very unusual, as the 50th running of the Maybank Malaysian Open could almost be termed as the Asian Major, having attracted three out of this year’s Major winners to participate.

World number 1 Martin Kaymer and British Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, were invited some time ago by the sponsors, along with a certain Rory McIlroy.

Then much to the delight of the tournament organisers, Charl Schwartzel, who had actually been scheduled to play anyway, won last weekend the coveted green jacket, and the Maybank’s global TV audience had now skyrocketed. Great for the sponsors, even better for Asian golf!

In the space of 20 minutes last Wednesday at the KLGCC, I managed to grab all three Major winners for a quick interview. As they had all flown from Augusta, they were naturally all jet lagged, but were genuinely keen to get out on the course.

Both Charl and Rory travel over together from Augusta, and the airline had managed to lose their clubs; therefore both were starting their first rounds without even seeing the course before. Reminds me of all us weekend golfers who turn up and play at the 280 Thai golf courses without even having the yardage books or even a reliable caddie!

All three told me that they had played before in Asia, and in fact Martin had made his first cut here IMG_1513 in Asia in 2007, earning him his first pay check. Fond memories!

So far Thailand was still to be tested by them, but Martin certainly was keen to play and jokingly said ‘send me an invitation.’ He knew all about the end of season Asian Tour Masters and the Royal Trophy, and his manager admitted it would make a good end of season break for the World No 1. Maybe Black Mountain or Colin Montgomerie should take note?

The media circus then moved on and they were back on duty playing in the Pro Am.

This is a great time for me to grab those relaxed photos of the stars, so I managed to get a Media Golf Cart and waited at the start.

One of the organisers ran up and said would I mind taking a caddie and his player to the first tee, as they were late. Yes I said, and who should sit down next to me but Craig, Martin Kaymer’s Scottish caddie along with the great man’s golf bag. Martin hung onto the back and off we went for the four minute ride.

If only I had someone free to take a picture!

Not to miss an opportunity, when we got to the first tee, instead of a tip, I cheekily asked if I could have a picture with Martin. Craig the caddie turned photographer and duly obliged. Result was me the Editor with Number 1 …my own personal scoop!

As I say some days it all just falls into place. If Martin does fly over to play in Black Mountain in the next few years then I will have done the job and Thailand can experience why he is World Number One.

Masteritist… a Very Serious Golfers Disease

Masteritist… a Very Serious Golfers Disease

I thought I was really suffering big time over the past five days, with what I thought might have been the dreaded Asian flu.

Blame it on the changeable weather we have been having over here in Thailand, but I had the mother of all coughs, a cold and just lost all my energy.

Swallowing all antibiotics under the sun, it just would not go away, and I was really getting concerned.

One of the problems that goes with flu and a bad cough, is you really don't get into a deep sleeping pattern, so I was up most of the nights.

By day three I was getting desperate, so turned on the TV at 02.45hrs and caught the first round of the Masters live from Augusta.

Yes while they are having tea in Augusta, we are just enjoying breakfast in Thailand, so the TV schedules are designed for insomniacs.

On the screen, was Rory shooting a fabulous opening round, and my personal favourite Ross Fisher getting – 3 for 5th position.

IMG_0318Having recently played the Royal Gems Golf Cityhere in Bangkok, where they have replicated the back nine at Augusta, it was even more special to see these guys coping with Amen corner and that crazy par 3, the famous 16th.

Not all the big stars shone with Westwood playing average, which World No 1 looked like he was really out of sorts. Henrik was just not in the zone and finished a dismal last at +8.

Woods and Mickelson were still there fine tuning their game. Not a classic round but a great start for Europe with Quiros making a late charge to tie with McIlroy.

By Round Two I was starting to get my energy back and actually managed to sleep until I woke with a start, to switch on the TV at 04.45hrs. Rory was now -10, Jason Day had shot a great 64 and wait a minute, isn't that Tiger, 'Son of Thailand', on -7. Yes Tiger was in the zone and you could hear the TV commentators getting excited, anticipating that ESPN would be getting some huge ratings if he made a charge.

I would assume that having paid a shed load of Dollars to persuade Martin Kaymer to tee off in next's week's Malaysian Open, Maybank the sponsors, must have been wondering if they had made the correct decision as the German missed the cut.

Wow with all this excitement, I seem to be feeling better and the flu had definitely disappeared at last. Now I had another illness, and it might mean a few more sleepless nights. Masteritist had taken over!

Still at this rate I only hope I have enough energy left to cover the Maybank Malaysian Open next week in KL. Hey the tournament organisers may have hit their own jackpot if Rory wins in Augusta, as he will be walking around the KLGCC with maybe a green jacket!

Westwood to join Jaidee in Asia

Westwood to join Jaidee in Asia

Asian golf legend and three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will compete in the inaugural US$750,000 Indonesian Masters next month, joining world number two Lee Westwood of England in the elite field at Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

22_VMA06_Winner_Thongchai Jaidee_resize Organisers announced today that PNTS, one of Indonesia’s fastest growing off shore bulk cargo handling companies, Garuda Indonesia, the national flag carrier, and Mercedes-Benz have also signed up as sponsors of Indonesia’s newest Asian Tour tournament from April 21 to 24, 2011.

Normally if you are planning to catch the stars playing in Asia, they only used to fly here at the beginning of the season. Now as Asia is seen as the growing market, more and more sponsors are prepared to open their cheque books, and there are now several tournaments in the spring and autumn.

 Black Mountain here in Thailand has hosted two championships in the past quarter, and there are several Asian Tour and One Asia tournament due in Thailand shortly.

India’s rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar, a two-time Asian Tour champion and no stranger to success in Indonesia, and Thai standout Chapchai Nirat, a three-time winner, will also feature in the Indonesian Masters which will be beamed live throughout four rounds to over 40 countries and 440 million homes worldwide.

After writing several pages in Asian golf history with his exploits, Thongchai is determined to become the inaugural champion of the Indonesian Masters.

“I am looking forward to the Indonesian Masters next month, especially when it will be played at Royale Jakarta. I have heard it is a fantastic golf course and I believe it will contribute to a very successful week of golf,” said Thongchai.

 The 41-year-old Thai is presently the most successful golfer in Asia following an unprecedented three Order of Merit triumphs in 2001, 2004 and 2009. He also holds the most number of victories on the Asian Tour with 13 titles and is the leader of the career earnings ranking with over US$4 million in winnings since breaking into the scene in 1999.

 In 12 seasons on the Asian Tour, the former paratrooper has finished outside the top-10 of the merit list only twice to cement his reputation as one of the most consistent performers on the region’s elite circuit.

“I owe my success very much to the Asian Tour and it is tremendous to see new tournaments like the Indonesian Masters coming up on our Schedule. I will always support the Asian Tour,” said Thongchai.

 Thongchai is perhaps Thailand’s number one ambassador promoting golf in the kingdom wherever he goes around the globe.

 ‘I love to come home and experience some of the great variety of golf courses across Thailand. And of course with our wonderful caddies you cannot beat their infectious smiles’ said Thongchai.