Top Golf Tournaments During 2016
By Glenn Cowan
Golf remains ever popular as both a spectator and active event in Pattaya. Recently we witnessed another brilliant LPGA tournament at the Siam Country Club during Feb.This year's tournament was the 10th anniversary, with no less than 9 of the top 10 golfers in the world taking part. Those lucky enough to go will have marvelled at Lexi Thompson who set the pace with a simply stunning opening round of 64. Despite allowing her competitors to catch her up, she stormed on with another 64 in the 3rd round, giving herself an unassailable 4 stroke lead going into the final round.
Her nerve held out, despite a late challenge from Korea’s Gee Chun. Victory was achieved by 6 strokes, allowing Lexi to pick up her 7th career victory.
The next few months sees the four majors taking place, with top quality action guaranteed from April through to July.
The Masters 7 - 10 April
Without question the most eagerly awaited golf tournament taking place in April is the Masters at Augusta.
This year's tournament will be the 80th version and the first of golf’s four major tournaments for 2016. The Augusta National Golf Club will be in-line for record viewing figures between the 7th and 10th April.
The Pattaya Trader is scheduled to go to print after the event has finished; however, no self-respecting golf feature could dismiss the tournament completely.
As an invitation event, the Masters has the smallest field of all four majors. This year's field is expected to be a very strong one with defending champion Jordan Spieth and the 2012, 2014 winner Bubba Watson expected to be in contention. Spieth will likely be buoyed by a recent victory in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, which saw him finish 30 under, beating Patrick Redd by 8 strokes.
US Open 16 - 19 June
Oakmont Country Club in Plum, Pennsylvania will be the scene for this year’s US Open championship.
Steeped in a rich history, the US Open has been played out no less than 115 times before. The 7230 yards, Par 70 course at Oakmont is being readied to see the likes of 2015 winner Jordan Spieth amongst many other high profile players.
Past champions who are expected to play in this year's competition include Germany’s Martin Kramer, England’s Justin Rose. It remains to be seen if Tiger Woods can rediscover some of the form that saw him run off with the top prize in 2000, 2002 and 2008.
The Open Championship 14 - 17 July
Golf lovers don’t have to wait too long after the US Open to get their next fix of high quality tournaments. The 2016 Open Championship kicks off midway through July from the Royal Troon Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland.
This year's field is expected to feature a number of previous winners, names including 2015 champion Zach Johnson plus Rory Mcllroy and two time (2002, 2012) winner Phil Mickelson.
PGA Championship 28 - 31 July
The 98th PGA Championship will take place at the Baltusrol Golf Club on the Lower Course in Springfield Township, New Jersey. This is the 2nd time the PGA Championship has visited Baltusrol, having been there for the 2005 event, which saw United States Phil Mickelson walking away with top honours.
Previous winners include, Australia’s Jason Day and Northern Ireland’s two time winner (2013, 2014) Rory Mcllroy. The 2015 tournament saw victory going to Day, who saw off the challenge of in-form Jordan Spieth by 3 shots.
Ryder Cup - USA vs Europe
Golf fans are in for a real treat this year with the return of the Ryder Cup, with the USA and Europe's elite doing battle between the 27th September and 2nd October.
The Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota will be the opportunity for the Americans to avenge the battering they received during the 2014 competition. It’s not hard to remember the events that lead up to Europe handing our one hell of a spanking, taking the trophy by 16 and a half to 11 and a half.
It is certain to be an exciting event with Darren Clarke and his team pitting their wits against a Davis Love III team.Interestingly Davis Love III has experience in captaining the team, having been chosen for the 2012 event.
Has the American got what it takes to erase the memory of one of the most stunning comebacks in Ryder Cup history? Going into the final day, his team were leading 10 - 6 needing only 4 and a half points to win. Golf fans will still recall the fateful final putt by Tiger Woods, allowing Francesco Molinari to halve the hole and claim victory for Europe. Final score was 14 and a half to 13 and a half.
Top Golf in South East Asia
As a region, South East Asia is accustomed to top quality golf. Two upcoming events to look out for are the Panasonic Open Golf Championship and the Volvo China Open, both of which feature on the Asian Tour Calendar.
India’s Kumar Chiragh picked up the trophy in the 2015 Panasonic Open Golf Championship, carding 13 under, with Rahman Siddikur from Bangladesh finishing 3 strokes adrift.
The 2015 Volvo China Open saw countryman Wu Ashun card 9 under, beating England’s David Howell by a single stroke. Keen followers will know that the China Open features on the European Tour calendar.
Dates for the dairy as as follows:
Amateur Golf in Thailand
The amateur game continues to be very strong, especially on a local level.The Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Championship is scheduled from the 19th - 25th June and promises to be an exciting event.
Siam Country Club holds its amateur golf week later on in the year, look out for more information on this closer to the event start date of 16th October.
Whether you are a keen player, or prefer to watch the game unfold, there is always plenty going on in the region. With the added bonus that most of the best bars will provide excellent coverage of the main events.