|THONGCHAI JAIDEE WELCOMES THE OPEN QUALIFYING SERIES TO THAILAND|
THONGCHAI JAIDEE WELCOMES THE OPEN QUALIFYING SERIES TO THAILAND
9 December 2015, Chonburi, Thailand: The Open Qualifying Series returns to Asia this week where four places in The 145th Open at Royal Troon will be on offer at the Thailand Golf Championship.
The leading four players, who finish in the top 12 and ties at Amata Spring Country Club and who are not already exempt, will earn a place in The Open from .
Home favourite Thongchai Jaidee, who has made nine previous appearances at The Open and has already secured his place at Royal Troon, welcomed The Open Qualifying Series to Thailand for the second year in succession.
"It is very good that The Open Qualifying Series can come to the Thailand. It gives the Thai and Asian players a great opportunity to make it to the oldest major of them all - The Open - which I have enjoyed playing for many years,” said the 46-year-old, who won the Porsche European Open in Germany in September and finished runner-up at the BMW PGA Championship in May.
“Links golf is very special and I am happy that the Thailand Golf Championship has once again been selected for The Open Qualifying Series. It means there is a lot to play for this week."
Jaidee will join a strong Thai contingent including Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who broke into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time this year and has also earned an exemption for Royal Troon, as well as recent Asian Tour winners Natipong Srithong and Danthai Boonma who are both looking to make their first appearances at The Open.
Several of the world’s top players will be in pursuit of the Thailand Golf Championship trophy as well as a place in golf’s oldest and most international Major Championship including defending champion Lee Westwood, who is looking to earn his third Thailand Golf Championship title since the tournament was inaugurated in 2011 as well as a place at Royal Troon.
Along with Jaidee and Aphibarnrat, nine other players in the field have secured places at The Open including Sergio Garcia, two-time Masters Tournament winner Bubba Watson and Nathan Holman who are all looking to carry forward their success from last weekend. Garcia, the 2013 Thailand Golf Championship winner, earned his first victory in almost two years at the Ho Tram Open in Vietnam, while two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson lifted the Hero World Challenge trophy in the Bahamas. Holman prevailed at the Australian PGA Championship to top the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit and earn his place in The Open.
Also exempt for The Open is 2011 Champion Golfer of the Year and European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke, 2014 US Open Champion Martin Kaymer, European Tour Rookie of the Year Byeong-hun An and 2015 British Masters champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, as well as 2015 Japan Open champion Satoshi Kodaira and Kyung-Tae Kim, who led the Japan Golf Tour money list in 2015 to earn an exemption.
2015 Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion Jin Cheng of China and joint runner-up Ryan Ruffels of Australia are also in the field and are both looking to make their debuts at The Open. If Ruffels is successful in qualifying, he will join fellow Australians Matt Jones, Rod Pampling and Nick Cullen who earned their places at Royal Troon at the first event in The Open Qualifying Series last month, the Emirates Australian Open.
An additional six players joined the Thailand Golf Championship field following a pre-qualifying event at Siam Country Club in Pattaya . Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai, Kwanchai Tannin, and Chanat Sakulpolphaisan, Kalle Samooja and Peter Erofejeff of Finland and Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden have all qualified to play in the Championship.
Play gets underway on Thursday with the 132-player field set to be cut to the leading 65 players and ties following Friday’s second round.
Notes to Editors:
The Open Qualifying Series
A total of 44 places in The Open are available through The Open Qualifying Series, which gives players the opportunity to qualify at events around the world on the PGA TOUR, the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Asian Tour, the Japan Golf Tour and the Sunshine Tour.
The Emirates Australian Open was the first chance for players to secure a place in golf’s most international Major Championship, followed by the Thailand Golf Championship in December 2015, the Joburg Open in South Africa in January and the Mizuno Open in Japan in May.
Three events on the European Tour are included in the Series, the Nordea Masters, the ALSTOM Open de France and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. On the PGA TOUR, the FedEx St Jude Classic, the Quicken Loans National and the Greenbrier Classic will all offer places in The Open.
The Open Qualifying Series (OQS) will offer the following qualification places in The 145TH Open:
|The Open Qualifying Series||Event||No of places||Detail|
|OQS-Australia||Emirates Australian Open||3||Three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties|
|OQS-Thailand||Thailand Golf Championship||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-South Africa||Joburg Open||3||Three places to the leading three players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 10 and ties|
|OQS-Japan||Mizuno Open||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-Sweden||The Nordea Masters||1||One place to the leading player (not otherwise exempt) who finishes in the top five and ties|
|OQS-France||ALSTOM Open de France||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-Scotland||Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-USA||FedEx St Jude Classic||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-USA||Quicken Loans National||4||Four places to the leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties|
|OQS-USA||The Greenbrier Classic||1||One place to the leading player (not otherwise exempt) who finishes in the top five and ties|
|OQS-Final Qualifying||Gailes Links|
Royal Cinque Ports
|12||Three places available at each venue|
NB: Any player who has qualified through The Open Qualifying Series is deemed an exempt player. In the event that that player subsequently fulfils other exemption categories those places in the starting field will be subject to Section F of The Open Entry Form.