Asian Tour plays final event of year
BY Bruce Young | Asian Tour | 2011 Thailand Golf Championship | Preview | 13 Dec 2011
Bangkok, December 12: Former Asian Tour number one Simon Dyson of England, Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh of India and Kim Kyung-tae of Korea will join the chase for the inaugural US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship title starting on Thursday.
The trio will be among the strong line-up at the Amata Spring Country Club, the field including Japanese star, Ryo Ishikawa, Major winners, Darren Clarke and Charl Schwartzel, in the US$1 million Asian Tour season-ending event.
World number three Lee Westwood will also feature in the event with a host of Asian Tour stars including three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan and Spaniard Sergio Garcia.
Dyson launched his career in Asia when he won the 2000 Asian Tour Order of Merit courtesy of winning three titles in his rookie year. He went on to ply his trade in Europe where he has won six titles, two of which came this year in the Netherlands and Ireland.
Ranked 32 in the world, Dyson is riding a rich vein of form heading into the Thailand Golf Championship where he has seven top-10s this year and an impeccable track record in Asia.
Korea’s Kim, who has one Asian Tour title under his belt, will be looking of continuing his stellar form which saw him lift his fourth title in Japan this year. His run of good form, highlighted by nine top-10s earned him a spot on the 2011 Presidents Cup International Team.
Kim, ranked 23rd in the world, also played in all four of the Majors this year with his best finish in tied 30th place in the US Open and will be keen of carrying his experience to the Thailand Golf Championship where he will be one of the hot favourites to win.
India’s Singh, a two-time Order of Merit winner, will be looking of ending a title drought which dates back to 2008. A series of injuries curtailed his season last year but he looks to be returning to his best form as he claimed two tied fourth place finishes on the Asian Tour this season.
Hiratsuka, winner of the Asia Pacific Panasonic Open, will bank on his winning memories in Thailand where he won two out of three Asian Tour titles in the country last year.
He missed only one cut this year and will lead a strong cast of Japanese players to the Thailand Golf Championship including Ishikawa and Michio Matsumura, a two-time winner in Japan.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, Siddikur of Bangladesh and Lu Wei-chih of Chinese Taipei, all winners on the Asian Tour will also feature in the Thailand Golf Championship.
The winner of the Thailand Golf Championship will earn a spot in the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational 2012.
A large Australasian contingent gets the chance to out the finishing touches on their Asian Tour season. Mark Brown, Gavid Gleeson, Marcus Both, Darren Beck, Scott Hend, Unho Park, Kunal Bhasin,
Gavin Flint, Tim Stewart and Adam Groom all have one last chance to improve their standing on the Asian Tour money list.
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