By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Thongchai Jaidee Foundation will be contested at the 13th Military Circle Golf Course, where the former world No 27 first played from the age of 16. It will be the first time any international event has been staged in his home town.
“I want to prove that you can start playing in a course that is not so perfect but you can grow up and compete at a world-class level,” said the 49-year-old Thongchai, winner of eight European Tour titles.
“I want to share this experience with my fellow players and prove this course is good enough to host an international event.”
As the competition coincides with the province’s King Narai Reign Fair, Thongchai will bring Thai tradition into the tournament as players will dress in traditional Thai costumes during the welcome party and even during the pro-am event the day before the tournament proper.
Tournament staff will also be donning traditional uniform throughout the event.
“The whole town will wear traditional costume, so I would like to comply with that. It’s a great opportunity for us to show our culture,” he added.
The Thongchai Jaidee FOundation is jointly-sanctioned by the ADT and the All Thailand Golf Tour, and is the second ADT in Thailand this year after last month’s Boonchu Ruangkit Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima.
2018 ADT No 1 Miguel Carballo of Argentina and 2017 No 1 Pannakorn Uthaipas are among the contenders this week. So are the in-form Itthipat Buranatanyarat, who leads the current rankings following his win in Boonchu Ruangkit last month, plus Asian Tour champions Natipong Srithong, Rattanon Wannasrichan and Chapchai Nirat, who won the event in 2016.
The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.
All ADT events offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive a minimum of six OWGR points, while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.