Asian Amateur winner set for Asian Tour season finale

Singapore:  The winner of the Asian Amateur Championship will be extended an invite to compete in the Asian Tour’s season-ending tournament, the US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship at Amata Spring Country Club (pic) from December 15-18, 2011.

Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han said it was a mission for the region’s elite Tour to fully support the growth and development of the amateur game through such initiatives where leading amateurs will enjoy the experience of competing in world-class professional tournaments.

“After a discussion with the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, The Masters Tournament and The R&A, who are the organisers of the Asian Amateur Championship, we have received their consent to extend an invitation to the winner of this week’s tournament,” said Han today.

“We have also received the blessings from the Thailand Golf Championship organising committee and believe this initiative will go a long way to promote the amateur game in Asia. It is a natural transition for the top amateurs in Asia to turn professional and we want to assist in this development.

“It is wonderful that the Asian Amateur Championship has become a leading amateur event in this region and the Asian Tour is fully supportive of the event.”

The Asian Amateur Championship winner will also receive an invitation to compete in the 2012 Masters Tournament while the winner and the runner-up(s) will be exempted into the Final Qualifying of The Open Championship.

APGC  chairman Tommy Lee said: “We are delighted that this invitation has been extended to the Asian Amateur Champion. The Asian Tour’s decision to support the development of our championship and the game across Asia complements perfectly our goal to grow the game of golf in this region.”

The Thailand Golf Championship will make its debut on the Asian Tour Schedule this season and it has already attracted a world-class field which includes newly crowned Major champions Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke, both from Northern Ireland. World number two Lee Westwood of England and Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa have also confirmed their participation in the Tour’s season finale.