Singapore: Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) President Tim Trinka has hailed the victories of Hideki Matsuyama and Thongchai Jaidee on the world’s two leading professional circuits.
While Japan’s Matsuyama claimed his maiden PGA Tour triumph by defeating Korean-born Kevin Na in a play-off at the Memorial Tournament, Thai Thongchai also held his nerve in extra-time to capture the European Tour’s Nordea Masters in Sweden.
“Our congratulations to Hideki and Thongchai,” said Trinka. “Their triumphs against the best players in the world are truly an inspiration to all young golfers in Asia.
“They are wonderful role models for the region’s rising stars to follow and their performances provide a lift for all of us involved in the golfing industry in Asia.
“Everyone connected with the Asian Golf Industry Federation wishes them well for the remainder of the season as they seek to scale further peaks – and secure their places in the International Team for next year’s Presidents Cup in Korea.”
Thanks to their latest feats, Matsuyama has risen to 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking while Thongchai has soared to 37th, both career-highs.
Matsuyama, a two-time winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, said: “To win my first PGA Tour event is enough, but to win it at Mr Nicklaus’ course, it really gives me a lot of confidence now going on.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to use this week as a stepping stone to further my career.
“One of my goals since I was a little guy was to win on the US PGA Tour. And now that I’ve done that, my next goal now would be to win one of the four Majors.”
Meanwhile, Thongchai at 44 double the age of Matsuyama, is the only player to have won three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns and was recently voted by his peers as the Tour’s Player of the Decade.
In his victory speech in Sweden, Thongchai said: “It’s simply amazing to know that I’ve won in Europe again. This win is dedicated to my family, all the Thai people and everyone who has supported me. It is a special week for me, to win a trophy outside of Asia for the second time. I’ll keep performing better.”
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