The events will be played over four weeks under the ‘Sandbox Swing’ project to help boost tourism to the island, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn explained at a press launch for the project held at the Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket yesterday (Sept 10).
“The tournament events will be played at the Blue Canyon Country Club and Laguna Golf Phuket, with the hope to stimulate the economy and build confidence in attracting tourists to the country this September,” Mr Phiphat said.
Joining Mr Phiphat at the high-powered press launch were Professional Golf Association of Thailand President Methee Suthat Na Ayutthaya, Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand Kongsak Yodmanee; Supranee Guptasa of the National Sports Development Fund and Thanet Petchsuwan, Deputy Governor for Marketing Communication Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Also present were Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong; Paul Wilson, Senior Vice President and Group Director of Laguna Phuket; Praphan Asava-aree, Chairman of the Board Blue Canyon Country Club; along with Methee Suthat Na Ayutthaya, President of the Professional Golf Association of Thailand; Chakphong Thongyai, Executive Chairman of the All Thailand Golf Tour and its Tournament Director Chitisak Tamprasert.
The pro golf tournament bonanza will comprise eight major golf events, with the main four comprising two Thailand PGA Tour events and a tour round of the Singha All Thailand Championship.
The first of the four major tournaments to be played in Phuket is the Thailand PGA Tour event, to be played on the Blue Canyon Country Club Lake Course on Sept 13-19 for a total prize money of B3.25mn.
The second will be the All Thailand Golf Tour of the Singha All Thailand Championship to be played on the Blue Canyon Country Club Canyon Course on Sept 20-26 for a total prize money of B3mn.
The third major event will be second Thailand PGA Tour event to be played in Phuket over the four weeks, will be played on the Blue Canyon Country Club Lake Course on Sept 27 – Oct 3 for a total prize money of B3.25mn
The fourth major event, the All Thailand Golf Tour as part of the Singha Laguna Phuket Open 2021, will be played on the Laguna Golf Phuket course on Oct 4-10 for prize money totaling B3mn.
Already signed to to play at the major events are leading Thai golfers Kwanchai Tannil (Champion, Singha All Thailand Championship 2019), Rawat Kaewsiribundit (Singha All Thailand Championship 2017), Pawin Ingkhapradit (Champion, Singha Laguna Phuket Open 2020), Chanachok Dechpiratanamongkol (Champion, Singha Laguna Phuket Open 2017), Waran Rattanapaiboonkit (Champion, Singha Laguna Phuket Open 2018) along with Panupon Pittayarat and Phum Saksansilp.
Other smaller events with B1mn total prize money will also be played at the courses over the four weeks, including the Singha- SAT Phuket Classic 2021 and the Singha-SAT Blue Canyon Championship 2021, both offering total prize money of B2mn.
Vice Governor Pichet noted that the slew of major tournaments was in line with the national strategy to develop “sports potential” throughout the country, and to make people aware of the benefits of sports and sporting activities.
“Increasing opportunities for everyone to play sports, including by holding major sporting events in the region, provides another way to stimulate the province’s economy,” Vice Governor Pichet said.
“This concept is in line with Phuket’s mission to promote, support and create trends for people in terms of exercising, playing sports and participating in various sports activities, especially golf, which has an impact on the economy very much,” he added.