Galaxy of Thai stars ready to rise at Phoenix

Galaxy of Thai stars ready to rise at Phoenix

Local aces aim to use Ladies European Thailand Championship as a launchpad

ABOVE Parinda Phokan gestures during a recent tournament.
ABOVE Parinda Phokan gestures during a recent tournament.

Local rising star Parinda Phokan, Chonlada Chayanun and Arpichaya Yubol are ready to vie for the title at the Ladies European Thailand Championship, which starts in Pattaya on Thursday.

The €300,000 (approximately 11 million baht) Ladies European Tour event will be held at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

A total of 126 players -- 70 from the LET, 40 from the Thai LPGA and 16 sponsor invites -- will compete in a 72-hole stroke-play format.

The cut will be made after two days with the top 60 and ties reaching the weekend rounds.

Parinda, Chonlada and Arpichaya are among Thailand's best hopes in the third edition of tournament.

Chonlada, current leader on the Thai LPGA Order of Merit, said: "My previous results in this tournament were quite good. I already practised at the course for this year's tournament."

The 24-year-old, who hails from Nakhon Ratchasima and who won a Thai LPGA title this year, said the Thailand Championship is one of the biggest women's tournaments in the country which attracts a large number of local and foreign players.

"My goal is to get a better result this year," she said.

Parinda, the 2017 Thai LPGA No.1, said the tournament provides a great opportunity for Thais to compete in an international-level event.

"I will do my best in the tournament," said the Khon Kaen native.

Teenager Arpichaya, the 2018 Thai LPGA No.1, said: "It is a good tournament for Thai players to hone their skills before going to a bigger stage."

The 17-year-old sealed a top-five finish in the tournament last year and she hopes to have a better result this year.

"I am confident that I can do better than last year. I have been practising at the course for over a month."

Only Thai players have won the title since the tournament was launched in 2017.

Chonlada Chayanun is considered a contender for the title.

In the inaugural championship, history was made when teenage amateur Atthaya Thitikul lifted the trophy and became the youngest ever winner in a professional golf tournament at the age of 14 years, four months and 19 days.

Last year, Kanyalak Preedasuttijit kept the trophy in Thailand.

"I'm glad and honoured to be invited to compete again in the Ladies European Thailand Championship,'' Atthaya said.

"I prefer not to set too high a target as I don't want to put extra pressure on myself. I want to go out and try to learn from Thai and European professional players."

Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club president Chanya Swangchitr said: "It's a great honour that Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club will host this important women's golf tournament for the third consecutive year.

"We are glad to welcome leading golfers from Thailand and around the world to compete in the tournament."

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