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Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in partnership with IMG, is continuing to host the 13 th edition of the Honda LPGA Thailand 2019 from February 21 to 24, 2019, at the Siam Country Club Pattaya, Old Course, Chonburi. The aim this year is to further support female golfers pursue their dreams through the inaugural National Qualifiers which will see one Thai female golfer qualify to play in the Honda LPGA Thailand 2019 compete with 70 other competitors from around the world, all vying for a prize purse of US$1.6 million dollars (approximately 53 million baht).
Pitak Pruittisarikorn (4th from left), COO of Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. together with Winnie Heng (7th from left), VP and MD of IMG Thailand. Joining the event were Itthiphol Kunplome (6th from left) Assistant Minister of Tourism and Sports, Poramase Ngampiches (8th from left) The Deputy Mayor of Pattaya City and Mo - Moriya Jutanugarn (5th from left) at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel.
The qualifying round is also being held to further boost the standards of men’s golf in Thailand, as well as to inspire amateur Thai golfers to be the best in their field. Pitak Pruittisarikorn, Chief Operating Officer of Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., said, “Honda LPGA Thailand 2019 is being held for the thirteenth consecutive year.
This year, the tournament will carry the tagline ‘Dream Big’, a concept that aims to inspire interest in golf and build passion among professionals, enthusiasts and junior players from all backgrounds and at all levels.
Dignitaries at Honda LPGA 2019 Press Conference
The Honda LPGA Thailand 2019 will feature 70 female golfers, including 58 professionals from the 2019 LPGA Priority List, the winners from the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic 2019 and 2019 ISPS Honda Women’s Australian Open, as well as nine invited players and the winner from the Honda LPGA Thailand National Qualifiers. Last year’s competition once again saw a strong field of top 10 golfers on the 2018 LPGA Priority List descend on the Honda LPGA Thailand.
Additionally, in 2019, a collaboration between Honda and the Sports Authority of Thailand will see a host of special events leading up to the Honda LPGA Thailand, namely ‘The Road to Honda LPGA Thailand’, which aims to further develop golf in Thailand as a whole. This will kick-off with the inaugural National Qualifiers in January 2019 at Siam Country Club Pattaya, Old Course. The winner will join a handful of her compatriots in playing with elite golfers from around the world at the tournament. The National Qualifiers will be a great platform for Thai female golfers to compete in a professional competition.
Thailand's talented Golfer Moriya Jutanugarn
Following shortly after, a Young Ambassadors Seminar will be held. The aim of this seminar is to provide students who have an interest in golf and sports management with an in-depth understanding of golf as a business as well as the different areas of hosting an international golf tournament. Further, selected students will stand a chance to have the opportunity of obtaining an internship abroad. The Road to Honda LPGA Thailand will also include a Golf Leaders Conference – a special conference held for industry experts, to equip them with the knowledge and expertise of hosting an international golf event.
Ittipol Khunpluem, Assistant Minister of Tourism and Sports, said, “The continuing success of the Honda LPGA Thailand helps elevate Thailand’s reputation for golf and the potential of Thai golfers who compete in a world-class professional tournament. It also aligns well with our sports tourism strategy, which is to boost Thailand’s reputation worldwide and attract more high-spending visitors to the country. Each year, we estimate that over 400,000 golf tourists come to Thailand. This group spends two to three times more than others tourists and generates approximately 4.8 billion baht per year. The good news is that last year the rate of golf tourist arrivals increased from 10% to 12%. The Honda LPGA Thailand 2019 will continue to play an important role in supporting the country’s economy.”
Pattaya has greatly benefitted from the increased attention that has come its way as the tournament’s host city. Poramase Ngampiches, Deputy Mayor of Pattaya City, said, “I am very proud that Pattaya has been trusted to be the host venue of the Honda LPGA Thailand for over 10 years. The continuing trust given as the venue of a top-notch golf tournament is obvious proof of our quality and standards and demonstrates Pattaya’s potential for being a world-class destination for all kinds of sports event, especially golf.
Winnie Heng, Vice President & Managing Director, IMG Thailand, said, “The strong partnership between IMG, Honda and the LPGA helps the Honda LPGA Thailand maintain the highest standards. We are so delighted to once again, host this flagship tournament, which continues to gain in popularity and prestige year-to-year. A payout of US$ 1.6 million (approximately 53 million baht), will be offered this year to the winner. The high stakes and intense competition that comes at a tournament of this kind provides an ideal opportunity to help boost golfing standards in the country. We hope for a strong showing from the home team," Heng added.