Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand: The Boonchu Ruangkit Championship will raise the curtain on the 2019 Asian Development Tour (ADT) season.
Aspiring golfers from across the region will begin their battle for the seven Asian Tour cards on offer for the 2020 season when the event returns to the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club, located at the outskirts of Bangkok, from January 10-13.
A prize purse of ฿4 million (about US$121,700) will be on offer to the 156-man field in the event launched by Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit, who aims to give back to the game by providing playing opportunities for players in the region.
Boonchu, who won five Asian Tour titles and was also a five-time winner on the European Senior Tour, said: “It’s a huge honour to be hosting again on the ADT. I hope to boost the development of golf in Thailand as well as provide more playing opportunities for aspiring talents through the staging of this event.
“I believe the ADT is a great platform for players to nurture their games and prepare themselves for the higher levels of golf. Nitithorn Thippong and Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij have earned their cards on the Asian Tour for the 2019 season following their wins this year. I hope more Thai golfers will be inspired by their feats,” said Boonchu.
“On behalf of the ADT, I would like to express our gratitude towards Boonchu and the All Thailand Golf Tour for their dedication to the development of golf in the region. We are thrilled to be back in Thailand to kick-off another exciting season on the ADT,” said Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Held as a ‘bonus’ event on the ADT in January 2015, Thailand’s Raththee Sirithanakunsak was the inaugural winner.
The championship returned as the season-finale and an Order-of-Merit counting event in December that same year when Thai prodigy Phachara Khongwatmai triumphed to claim the fifth and last Asian Tour card on offer.
The trophy has been kept on home soil since as Danthai Boonma and Namchok Tantipokhakul prevailing in play-offs in 2016 and 2017 respectively.