Golf 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.