Phuket, Thailand: Laguna Phuket has become the joint title sponsor of an All Thailand Golf Tour professional event to be held on the award-winning course.
The 2018 Singha Laguna Phuket Open, a repeat of last year’s successful inaugural event, will be held from May 9-13 as a co-sanctioned Asian Development Tour tournament with Laguna Golf Phuket and Singha Corporation as headline sponsors.
Laguna Golf Phuket is a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
While a repeat of the 2017 event’s exceptional scoring – including a 59 by Sutijet Kooratanapisan – is less likely due to toughening of the layout, low scores and plenty of excitement are anticipated on the popular course within the Laguna Phuket resort.
The THB2 million (about US$64,000) prize money event is one of 10 on the All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT) calendar in 2018 and one of 23 Asian Development Tour tournaments.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the ATGT, which has fostered many of Thailand’s best players, such as Kiradech Aphibarnrat, currently ranked 40 in the world, to become international stars.
Paul Wilson, Laguna Golf Phuket’s Assistant Vice President and Group Golf Director, says feedback from last year’s tournament resulted in course enhancements, including the removal of some bunkers and the addition of new tee boxes. Fairways are being narrowed and rough increased for the 2018 tournament.
“There was an immediate increase in domestic and regional visitors to the course and resort following the 2017 tournament, aided by live TV coverage in Thailand and highlights packages aired in 19 other countries,” he said.
Laguna Golf Phuket is a drawcard for golf visitors to Phuket from Thailand and around the world. It has twice been awarded the mantle of Thailand’s Best Golf Course and in 2016 was named Asia’s best golf course at the World Golf Awards in Portugal.
Jakraphong Thongyai, All Thailand Golf Tour Commissioner, says the Singha Laguna Phuket Open offers another opportunity for young professional and amateur golfers to test their skills against peers on an attractive, risk-and-reward course.
“It provides another venue for up-and-coming stars of the future. They are all very excited to compete in such an appealing location,” he said.
Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer, who attended the ATGT 2018 season launch in Bangkok last week, said the addition of Phuket to the Asian Development Tour schedule has been a major boost for players.
“Phuket is an awesome destination. Players love going there. We also have good memories from the Singha Thailand Open held at the same course in 2009, before it was remodelled.
“We are again looking forward to some low scoring this year. It is also great that recreational golfers who play at Laguna Golf Phuket will be able to see how the pros play the course.”
The Asian Tour is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Tokyo, Japan: The Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan, one of Asia’s eldest and most respected sporting organisations, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation.