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Pattaya Daily News

29 July 2011 :: 17:07:30 pm 56669

Colourful Katayama Ready to Sparkle at Thailand Open

Bangkok, July 21: Japan’s Shingo Katayama, one of the most charismatic and successful players in world golf, will star in next month’s US$1 million Thailand Open on OneAsia.
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Katayama, the “Cat in the Hat” who has recently swapped his trademark Stetson for equally stylish pork pie headwear, has been Japan’s number one on five occasions and won 26 events on the lucrative circuit during a sparkling career.

He will be making his second appearance at the Thailand Open after his thrilling debut last year when he captivated the galleries with a superb albatross in the final round.

Katayama finished 11th, five strokes adrift of winner Liang Wenchong of China, and is determined to improve on that performance at Suwan Golf and Country Club from August 11-14.

The colourful 38 year old will be joined in the stellar field by countryman Shigeki Maruyama, who has claimed 10 titles on the Japan Golf Tour and three on the US PGA Tour, former US Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand and the cream of Thai golf.

“I am really happy to have been given the opportunity to play the Thailand Open on OneAsia,” said Katayama. “I played quite well last year and I am looking forward to competing on a different course at Suwan Golf and Country Club.

“It is a great thrill for me to play outside of Japan and I want to put on a show for all my fans in Thailand.”
Katayama created a bit of history last year with the rare albatross two on the 524-yard, par-five 10th hole at Burapha Golf Club.

“I have enjoyed a lot of success in Japan but I have never had an albatross,” said Katayama. “OneAsia seems to bring out the best in me.”

Katayama has been in great form on the Japan Golf Tour this season with three top-six finishes in five events, including a runner-up spot at the season-opening Token Homemate Cup, and is currently 11th on the Order of Merit.

His ability to close out tournaments has helped him amass a total of US$20 million in prize money since his first Japan Golf Tour victory in 1998. On the international scene, he finished fourth in both the 2001 PGA Championship and the 2009 Masters.

The Thailand Open, the most prestigious tournament in the country and the one that every Thai player wants to win, will feature Singha Corporation as the premier sponsor.

His Majesty King BhumibolAdulyadej donated the majestic trophy that will be presented to the winner of the 42nd Thailand Open.

Among the well-known names inscribed on the trophy are Australians David Graham (1970) and Graham Marsh (1973), and Taiwanese golfers Hsieh Min-nan (1972) and Chen Tze-ming (1983 and 1986).

Unquestionably the most popular winner of the event was Thailand’s BoonchuRuangkit, who triumphed in 1992 and 2004.

However, he was not the first home player to lift the trophy – that memorable feat was achieved in 1991 by SuthepMeesawat, the father of current professional Prom, who made his Major debut at this month’s British Open.
The award-winning Suwan Golf and Country Club will provide a stiff challenge for the best players in Asia-Pacific at the Thailand Open.

Created by Thai company Weeyos Design and opened in November 2005, the 7,125-yard, par 72 layout features lush fairways, undulating greens, extensive bunkering and numerous water hazards.

The Thailand Open will be the eighth leg of the 2011 OneAsia schedule, which features 13 tournaments worth more than US$15 million in prize money.

Category : Sports News

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