Boonchu keeps promise amid tough times
The delayed 2021 All Thailand Golf Tour season starts on Thursday at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship at Rancho Charnvee Resort and Golf Club in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Among the country's leading golfers in the 144-player field are female stars Atthaya Thitikul and Pannarat Thanapolboonyarat and holder Pavit Tangkamolprasert who won the 2020 title with a two-stroke win over John Catlin of the US.
The seventh edition of the tournament, hosted by Thai legendary golfer Boonchu Ruangkit, offers a total purse of four million baht with the winner taking home 600,000 baht and projected seven world ranking points.
The tournament, which was initially planned to take place in January, is the first of 12 events in the 2021 ATGT season, which has a total purse of more than 40 million baht.
The 64-year-old Boonchu, who won five Asian Tour titles and five European Senior Tour crowns during his playing career, said the tournament is aimed at giving young players an opportunity to hone their skills.
"As the tournament host, I am really proud to play a part in supporting golfers especially the young ones and giving them a chance to play and develop their skills," said Boonchu.
"I am sure that these young players will be able to replace current stars in the future."
Boonchu admitted that hosting this year's edition has been the most challenging assignment since its establishment in 2005.
It was difficult to get financial support due to the economic downturn as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, he said.
"I promised golfers that I would host this event so I had to honour my promise and make it happen," Boonchu said.
A limited number of spectators will be allowed at the venue.
The final two rounds will be shown live via www.allthailandgolftour.com and facebook.com/allthailandgolftour.