Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee is hopeful of welcoming more golfing talents from the Kingdom when the season-ending Thailand Masters draws the 2019 Asian Tour season to a close this week.
The US$500,000 event is promoted by the Jaidee Foundation which Thongchai oversees and gets underway at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club on Thursday.
“Promoting this event has been keeping me very busy but it’s also very fun. We have a very good field this week and I’m really enjoying myself. I’ve always wanted to give back to the sport in Thailand and this is one of the ways I’m making my contribution,” Jaidee said.
While feeling proud of how the next generation of Thai golfers have put the country on the world map, the three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion is also aiming to help under-privileged golfers in his hometown of Lopburi and pave the way for aspiring talents to follow in his footsteps.
“It’s going to be a fun week. I’ve a few of my close friends here, my brother’s playing this week and my family is here." - Gavin Green
Although he is not playing in the Thailand Masters this week, the 50-year-old , who earned his full exempt status on the PGA TOUR Champions for next year, is still a star attraction with fans, players and sponsors.
Malaysia’s Gavin Green, who is playing in his last event for the year, is delighted to have his younger brother, Galven with him in the field this week.
The 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion is also using the Thailand Masters to reassess his game as he hopes to mount a strong start when the new season gets underway next year.
“It has been a long year. I haven’t touched my clubs in the last two weeks. I wanted to completely shut down and just rest. But I’m still going to treat this like any other event,” Green said. “It’s going to be a fun week. I’ve a few of my close friends here, my brother’s playing this week and my family is here. It has been a long time since my brother and I played in the same event together. Being able to do it again with him is definitely going to be fun.”
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts returns to Thailand after three years and is ready to enjoy the year-end festive vibes in the company of close friends which include Jaidee.
Colsaerts returned to his winning ways when he ended his seven-year title drought with his win in France in October.
“It’s nice to be back in Thailand as I’ve not been back here for close to three years now,” Colsaerts said. “This is my last event for the year and it means a lot to come back and play and especially support Thongchai in his event. The first time I played with Thongchai was during the Dubai Desert Classic in 2011. So we have known each other for a long time already and we always have a very good relationship.”