The Ladies European Tour has returned to Thailand this week for the inaugural Ladies European Thailand Championship, which will take place at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Pattaya from Thursday.
This is the LET’s first visit to the country in 12 years, following the 2005 Thailand Ladies Open in Bangkok. A field of 126 female golfers, including 70 LET members, 40 Thai LPGA members and 16 invited players, will compete for a purse of 300,000 euros.
Local players will have the opportunity to test themselves at the international level, following in the footsteps of Thai stars such as Ariya Jutanugarn, Nontaya Srisawang and Supamas Sangchan.
Titiya Plucksataporn, who joined the LET in 2006 after playing in the Thailand Ladies Open as an amateur, believes that the tournament will contribute to the development of the game.
She said: “The Thai players are really excited to have a big tournament in Thailand and we hope that it will continue for at least the next two years. This event is a great opportunity for us to show the beautiful golf courses and facilities that we have. It will also encourage the current players who are progressing in their games to develop their skills and to see how far their talents can take them.”
Three-time Thai LPGA tournament winner Pajaree Anannarukarn, 18, from Bangkok, is looking forward to mixing with the players from 28 countries in the field. She said:
“To have a co-sanctioned tournament with the LET is excellent, because a lot of Thai players want to have the chance to play with the international professionals and get to know them.”
The top Ladies European Tour stars in the field are also looking forward to the challenge and Florentyna Parker, who recently claimed her third title at the Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open in Spain, said:
“I think it’s always important to play international golf and on the LET we travel the world and play with other tours. This week it’s with the Thai LPGA and I think they have some great players so it will be a stern test. It’s always nice having a new tournament.”
The Ladies European Thailand Championship is supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand and will be played at Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club, the host venue for last year’s King’s Cup on the men’s Thai, Asian and European Tours.
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