August 26: The Mercedes-Benz Tour will reach an exciting climax this year when it heads to the season-ending Mercedes-Benz Masters Thailand at The Vintage Club.
To be played from November 27 to 30, the inaugural tournament has been positioned as the fledgling circuit’s Tour Championship and will boast prize money of US$75,000.
The top-60 players from the Mercedes-Benz Tour Order of Merit, after the penultimate event, will be eligible to compete in what will be the 10th tournament of the year.
“We are delighted the Mercedes-Benz Tour will come to Thailand this year for the season-ending event. The Mercedes-Benz Tour has gone exceedingly well and we therefore look forward to making sure we enjoy a memorable conclusion to the year,” said Wolfgang Huppenbauer, President & CEO, Mercedes-Benz (Thailand)
No halfway cut will be made in the 72-hole tournament ensuring all competitors will be guaranteed a share of the prize money.
“A feature of the Tour this year has been the number of young Thai professionals who have been playing so well. Wisut Artjanawat won the Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines for example while a host of other players from The Kingdom have come to the fore. This makes it even more fitting that the Mercedes-Benz Masters Thailand will be the final event of 2008,” added Huppenbauer.
Four events have been played so far this year while the fifth leg, the B-Ing Championship is set to be played next week at Patana Golf & Country Club in Chonburi, here in Thailand.
Six out of the 10 events are title sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. These Mercedes-Benz Masters tournaments take place in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The Tour was launched last year as the ASEAN Golf Tour. It was set up in order to provide more playing opportunities for professionals in Southeast Asia and upon seeing the value of such a circuit Mercedes-Benz came on board as Tour Title sponsor in May of this year.
“Clearly the Tour is progressing at a rapid pace to the point where we now have a Tour championship that will reward the players who have played the best golf of the year. We are also particularly pleased that the Mercedes-Benz Masters Thailand will be played at The Vintage Club. This is a superb venue with excellent facilities that will be a fitting place for the Tour championship,” said AC Wong, Chairman, Mercedes-Benz Tour.
Located approximately 30 minutes drive south of Bangkok the club was opened in 1995 and is no stranger to hosting professional tournaments having already staged the Thailand Ladies Open and events on the local Tour.
“The Mercedes-Benz Masters Thailand will provide The Vintage Club with a great opportunity to showcase our outstanding golf course, facilities and services,” said Sudhitham Chirathivat, Managing Director, The Vintage Club.
“The Vintage Club are also strong supporters of local professional golf and this is something that the Mercedes-Benz Tour targets. We are therefore extremely excited about hosting the tournament and seeing so many up and coming stars compete,” added Sudhitham.
Filipino Angelo Que has been the dominant player on Tour this year and currently leads the Order of Merit with winnings of the US$32,209. He won the ICTSI Mt. Malarayat Championship in the Philippines and has also finished runner-up twice.
He will start as one of the favourites in the Mercedes-Benz Masters Thailand along with the likes of Filipino Mars Pucay, currently second on the Merit list, and third placed Danny Chia from Malaysia.
Wisut, ranked fourth, has also been one of the stars this year and will be expected to be in the running along with compatriots Pijit Petchkasem, Nakul Vichitryuthasatr, and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.