Mahan and Garcia to battle it out in Thailand

Ryder Cup hero Sergio Garcia and American star Hunter Mahan will battle it out for the 2012 Thailand Golf Championship, a flagship tournament on the Asian Tour.

Golf News: Hunter Mahan.

The penultimate event on this year's Asian Tour schedule takes place at the magnificent Amata Spring Country Club, from December 6-9.

Mahan, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year and current world number 23 has never played in Thailand but a holiday visit convinced him to return with his clubs:

"My wife, Kandi, and I went on a vacation in Thailand a couple of years ago. We love to travel and it was definitely one of our favourite trips. The beaches were beautiful, the food was great- we had a really good time so I thought it was a great place for me to play, a great place for me to see and to show Thailand what kind of golfer I am," said Mahan.

"And with golf now days, golf is a global sport and so you need to travel and you need to expand yourself, and it's an opportunity to test myself and put myself in a different situation I've never been in before. So I really look forward to it."

Speaking from his home in Texas, Mahan is confident that playing in the States will stand him in good stead for the heat of Thailand:

"Playing in intense heat is something I'm used to. We play in tournaments throughout the summer on the PGA Tour where the heat is definitely a factor. You just have to prepare for it- make sure you're hydrated and make your practice sessions shorter and more focused," he said.

Fully recovered after recent eye surgery to correct an astigmatism, Spanish superstar Sergio Garcia is looking to finish his season on a high:

"It would be great (to win). I will have three tournaments towards the end of the year. I had the surgery but everything went very well. I hope I can play good, finish on a high note and get ready for next year," he said.

Garcia finished the 2011 Thailand Golf Championship tied 24th and is relishing his return to the tournament.

"I really like Thailand, I have been there for holiday and I really enjoyed the country. The tournament is very well organised, and I think it is a very nice tournament; everyone does a great job there. Also for the last year, the tournament had a very good field with very good players, and the golf course is very nice. I really enjoy the golf course, it was very challenging and in great shape, a lot of good things for a good tournament," said the Spaniard.

Both Garcia and Mahan will face stiff competition for the title from a superb field packed with international talent. Mahan's compatriot and 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson, former world number one Lee Westwood, Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke (2011 Open Champion) and the South African duo Charl Schwartzel (2011 Masters Champion) and Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Champion) have also committed to play in this year's US$1 million Asian Tour event.

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