Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand: The Boonchu Ruangkit Championship will offer an increased prize fund of ฿4 million (about US$120,000) when it returns for its fourth edition as the Asian Development Tour’s (ADT) season-finale.
The tournament, hosted by Thai golfing legend Boonchu Ruangkit, offered a total purse of ฿3 million in 2015 and ฿3.5 million in 2016.
The tournament will return to the Rancho Charnvee Resort and Country Club from December 21-24 and bring down the curtain on the latest season of the ADT, which was inaugurated in 2010 as a gateway to the Asian Tour.
The leading five players on the ADT Order of Merit following the conclusion of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship will earn their Asian Tour cards for the 2018 season.
Last year, Danthai Boonma prevailed on the fourth play-off hole against fellow-Thai Jazz Janewattananond to win his first ADT title. He was the third consecutive Thai player to win the event, following Raththee Sirithanakunsak and Phachara Khongwatmai.
The Thai showpiece will be jointly sanctioned by the ADT and All Thailand Golf Tour. A total of 144 players will feature in the event. There will be 60 players each from the All Thailand Golf Tour and ADT plus 24 invites.
“The purpose of staging this event is to help support the development of our up-and-coming players. I want to provide them with a playing opportunity to compete against the best in the region. It’s heartening to see how the tournament has grown with the boost in prize money over the past few years,” said 61-year-old Boonchu, winner of five Asian Tour titles and five European Senior Tour titles.
Jakraphong Thongyai, Commissioner of the All Thailand Golf Tour, said: “We hope the Thai golfers will take full advantage of these playing opportunities to gain experience and advance their careers. We look forward to welcoming a strong line-up of international and regional golfers from the ADT to this season finale.”
Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour, said: “We are delighted to announce the return of the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship. The tournament will be the fourth event sanctioned with the All Thailand Golf Tour this season – the most we’ve had in Thailand in a single season since the circuit was inaugurated in 2010.”