Woosnam, Thongchai heading for Macau

Ian Woosnam, the 1991 Masters Tournament champion, and Asian Tour all-time great Thongchai Jaidee will feature in the Venetian Macau Open next week.

Golf News: Thongchai Jaidee

Woosnam, who has 48 international victories to his name including the Masters Green Jacket, will make his debut at the US$750,000 Asian Tour tournament at the stunning Macau Golf and Country Club from October 11-14.

Thongchai, the only player to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit titles, will also feature in Macau for the first time in 11 years, with the Thai strongman eager to win a record-tying 14th career victory in Macau. In June, he added another feather to his cap by winning his first title on European soil at the ISPS Handa Wales Open.

Two-time European number one Woosnam, who is also a former world number one, said he was looking forward to competing in the Venetian Macau Open, which over the years has attracted Major champions such as Vijay Singh, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Nick Price, Mark O’Meara, Steve Elkington and Fred Couples.

“I am looking forward to competing in the Venetian Macau Open for the first time. I have heard very good things about the tournament from players who have been there previously and I hope to have a good week in Macau,” said Woosnam.

Nicknamed Woosie, the slightly-built Welshman has enjoyed a stellar career which was capped in 2006 when he captained Europe to a commanding victory over the United States in the Ryder Cup.

As he now competes regularly on the European Seniors Tour, the 54-year-old has not lost the knack of winning with four victories on the circuit. He has four top-10s this season, including a tied fifth finish at the French Riviera Masters a fortnight ago.

Regarded as one of the “Big Five” generation of European golfers, the others being Nick Faldo, the late Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer, Woosnam has also won all around the world, including the 1987 Hong Kong Open.

“My game is feeling good. I understand the Macau Golf and Country Club rewards precision play which is my strength and I hope to put up a good challenge against the stars from the Asian Tour,” said Woosnam.

Thongchai is widely regarded as the Asian Tour’s most successful player with his unprecedented three Merit crowns. He also leads the Career Earnings list with over US$4 million in winnings but currently trails countryman Thaworn Wiratchant for the most number of wins on Tour.

“I have not played in the Macau Open for a very long time, so I’m really excited to be heading back there,” said Thongchai, who finished tie fourth in his last visit to Macau in 2001.

“I remember the Macau Golf and Country Club as a very challenging golf course due to the severe undulation and the fact that you have to hit the ball very straight there to stay away from trouble.

“It will be fun to compete in the tournament again and I’m looking forward to win my 14th Asian Tour title in Macau.”

Chan Yih-shin of Chinese Taipei will defend his title in the Venetian Macau Open, which will be beamed live over four rounds on the Asian Tour’s global television platform which reaches over 200 nations and 650 million homes.



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