Bangkok, Thailand: The daring recent deeds of two Thai golfers will act as an inspiration to participants in the 13th edition of the Faldo Series Thailand Championship (North).
In the past fortnight, Thidapa Suwannapura and Conor Kelly have both gained global headlines after remarkable performances on American soil.
Thidapa, winner of the overall girls’ title at the 2010 Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, was thrust into the limelight when she recorded her maiden LPGA Tour triumph at the Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I.
A few days later, Kelly, narrowly beaten into third place in last year’s Faldo Series Thailand Championship (South), also found his range.
Playing in the final round of an American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournament, 16-year-old Kelly made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.
“Is this the greatest feat in golf history?” asked the AJGA, while Golf World reported that: “A junior golfer just pulled off something that’s probably never been done in a tournament before.”
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “It’s exciting to see the continued success of Thailand players in international tournaments. I’m delighted that the Faldo Series continues to be an important stepping stone in the career of many players in Thailand and around Asia.
“It’s especially pleasing to see Thidapa do so well. Congratulations to her and her father, Seksan, who has been a driving force behind the Faldo Series Thailand Championship.”
The depth of golfing talent in Thailand will once more be on show in the fifth leg of the 2018-19 Faldo Series Asia season at Watermill Golf & Gardens (July 28-29).
Located in Nakhon Nayok, less than two hours by car from Bangkok, and an area renowned for its refreshing waterfalls and abundant varieties of fruits, the Watermill course is expected to provide a stern challenge.
Spearheading the field is Weerawish Narkprachar, who upstaged some of his country’s leading juniors to emerge triumphant in last year’s Faldo Series Thailand Championship (North).
Undaunted by a tightly-packed leaderboard featuring four players from the top-25 Thais on The R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking, it was the bespectacled Weerawish, who turned 14 in February, who prevailed.
Weerawish is now setting his sights on a return to Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Vietnam, in March, 2019 at the 13th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick – the prize on offer to all age group winners at Watermill.
Having finished 15th in the Boys’ Under-16 category at Laguna Lăng Cô last time out, he’ll be looking for an improvement next time around.
The 2018-19 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships are being staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.