Hua Hin, Thailand: Thongchai Jaidee will be the headline act when he hosts his own tournament for the first time.
A total of 156 players will compete in the four million baht [about US$111,808] Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2015 at Hua Hin’s Black Mountain Golf Club from September 10-13.
The 45-year-old Thongchai, winner of three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns and 13 titles, follows in the footsteps of fellow-Thai Boonchu Ruangkit and Korean KJ Choi to host his own tournament in Asia.
The addition of the inaugural Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2015 will make it a record 25 tournaments on the Asian Development Tour [ADT] schedule this season.
Despite shifting his attention to competing on the world stage in recent years, Thongchai has always maintained his Asian roots.
In 2009, he launched the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation to help under-privileged golfers in his hometown of Lopburi.
Through the staging of his own tournament next month, Thongchai hopes to draw attention to his foundation and, at the same time, create playing opportunities for the region’s rising stars.
“At the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation, our mission is to give back to society. We have helped raise kids by giving scholarships, golf lessons and accommodation so far. We want to provide them with the knowledge of the game which could probably earn them a living one day,” said Thongchai, currently ranked 41st in the world.
Thongchai’s commitment to develop the game was largely inspired by Boonchu, who had an ADT tournament named after him to honour his achievements.
“Boonchu is a widely-respected player in Thailand and I was really inspired by his determination and commitment to give back to the game. Having already set up the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation, I thought I can contribute as well.
“The ADT has grown over the years and it is the best platform to start this initiative. I hope we can create more playing opportunities and nurture future talents of the game through the staging of this event,” added Thongchai.
Asian Tour Associate Director Irfan Hamid said: “On behalf of the ADT, we are delighted to sanction the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2015.
“Thongchai has been one of our most successful golfers for over a decade and his tournament will be an inspiration to young golfers across the region.”