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Phuket Sports: Fed Ex Cup; Golf tip of the week

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: Fed Ex Cup; Golf tip of the week | The Thaiger

PHUKET: This week on the PGA tour saw the Tour Championship and the finals of the Fed Ex Cup played at the East Lake golf course in Atlanta, Georgia.

The course was in immaculate condition and the greens were similar to those at the Lakes golf course at Blue Canyon in Phuket, with subtle breaks, which make it difficult to read the first time.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were leading the Fed Ex reset points from last week, giving them the best chance to win.

Jim Furyk was the first to show his colors in the front nine on the second day with an outstanding 29, shooting 64 for the day and 7-under for the tournament. Justin Rose 66, 68 was 6-under and one shot behind.

The third round is moving day. Brandt Snedeker shot himself into contention matching Furyk’s 64 from the previous day to lead with Justin Rose, who was on 8-under-par; McIlroy, despite driving poorly off the tee, was hanging in there at 5-under, with Woods one back.

In the last round, the first six holes seemed to be making fools out of the best players in the world, especially the 6th. Double-bogies were common place and with 12 holes to go, the tournament was still up for grabs.

Woods was the first casualty 4-over-par through six holes and couldn’t rally from there, shooting 72 in the last round to finish a disappointing 8th for the week.

McIlroy fared no better, missing fairway after fairway leaving him too much to do with his second shots out of the rough. His consolation was second place in the Fed Ex cup.

Justin Rose who looked in control of his golf game all week, lost confidence on the greens in the last round, it looked like their speed was too much for him to handle. He finished with a 71, 7-under for the tournament to finish second.

Brandt Snedeker on the last round, went into an early two shot lead, but a double bogie on the 6th brought him back. However, his short game was red hot in the last round and by the time he came to the 18th hole he was 4 shots clear of the field. His bogey gave him a 68 for the day and a 10-under total for the week.

Snedeker picked up the Tour Championship and because of where Woods and McIlroy finished he won the Fed Ex cup outright.

On Phuket, the Ryder cup teams playing at Blue Canyon have been chosen. The European side have been preparing well for this event and team USA is starting to gather momentum. It should be a great contest between the two teams, – win, lose or draw. After their games, I’m sure they will be watching the Ryder Cup, which USA are hosting this year.

Golf Tip of the week: Pre-shot routine:
One of the things we like about Brandt Snedeker’s golf game is once he has made up his mind up to play his golf shot, he just gets on with it.

His pre-shot routine seems a bit twitchy but he does the same twitchy routine every time. We call this a process goal – staying in the moment. The same routine keeps him relaxed and this in turn creates consistent results each time.

So remember to keep doing the same routine that got you to where you are in the first place, this will help you feel more comfortable each time you hit your golf ball.

For tips on how to improve your golf game, visit: thegolfguru.com.

— Martin Platts



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Phuket

Legality of Seastead likely to be tested in an international court

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Legality of Seastead likely to be tested in an international court | The Thaiger

The perceived naiveté of the team surrounding the seastead structure off Phuket’s south-east coast are about to be tested as the matter is likely to end up in an international court.

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam says that the Thai government has the right to demolish the floating sea home and welcomed the threat of a lawsuit by its builder, Ocean Builders. Ocean Builders is a well-funded group backed by Peter Theil.

“Peter Andreas Thiel is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, philanthropist, political activist, and author. He is a co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies and Founders Fund.”

The media narrative has been of a naive couple who wandered into the offshore lifestyle project and then went into hiding when questions started to be asked and the Navy came knocking at their offshore front door.

At the same time the Thai Government has rolled up its sleeves and showed its angry face claiming that the project was a threat to national sovereignty and security.

Some enthusiast local media included the threat of ‘death penalty’ in its reportage (covered in the Act relating to treasonous acts against the sovereignty of Thailand)  providing sensational headlines for international tabloids.

Speaking at a press conference at the King Prajadhipok’s Institute yesterday, Wissanu said Thai officials could remove the floating structure, which is located to the southeast of Koh Racha Yai, approximately 22 kilometres  from the Thai mainland, because its presence clearly violated Article 119 of Thailand’s Criminal Code as threatening the Kingdom’s security and sovereignty.

(These claims continue to be made by Thai officials without any explanation or evidence on how the 6 metre aluminium and steel structure threatens the country’s security.)

Wissanu says the structure would also be an obstacle to marine navigation as it is located near a sea drilling site.

But the company behind the project, Ocean Builders, has announced it will sue Thailand in an international court if the government removes the seastead. This legal test in a court, predicted by The Thaiger, will force the Thai Government to measure its hard-line position on the seastead in an international court of law.

But Wissanu kept pouring on the local rhetoric yesterday…

“The Thai government would be glad if a lawsuit is filed. We want a lawsuit to be filed so that we will have a chance to explain the truth.”

“Attempts have been made to build seasteads in several nations but no government had allowed them and builders were always arrested and legal action taken against them,” according to Wissanu.

From the Ocean Builder website…

“We are just beyond 12 nautical miles from shore. Under International law this puts us just outside of the territorial waters of Thailand but within their 200 nautical mile excusive economic zone. This means that we are not subject to Thailand laws other than those that deal with their natural resources (drilling for oil, mining, etc.) and no interfering with their customs (can’t act as a way to get goods and people into Thailand to get around their import and visa laws). As well as following the law of the sea which prevents “egrevious acts” such as murder, slave trade, etc.”

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Phuket

Phuket seastead will be removed today

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket seastead will be removed today | The Thaiger

The Third Naval Area Command will remove the seastead stationed off Phuket south-east coast today, belonging to an American bitcoin investor and seasteading innovators Ocean Builders.

Thai authorities plan to seize the structure as evidence in a criminal case. They fear the structure will continue to be a navigation hazard if left there.

US national Chad Elwartowski and his Thai girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet (aka Nadia Summergirl), are facing charges of threatening the Kingdom’s sovereignty. Last Sunday officials from the Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Maritime boarded the structure saying it violated Article 119 of the Criminal Code and also posed a navigational hazard.

The couple launched the ‘Ocean Builders’ seastead on February 2 off the coast of Phuket. The structure is located to the southeast of Koh Racha Yai, approximately 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometres) from the mainland.

Elwartowski has claimed that his seastead is outside Thailand’s territorial waters, but Thai authorities insist that it violates Article 119 and challenges Thailand’s territorial rights.

“The Royal Thai Navy has full authority and duty to protect national interest and marine sovereignty in the area,” according to a Navy spokesperson.

Regarding the couple’s claim that they feared for their lives, Vice Admiral Sitthiporn Maskasem, commander of the Third Naval Area, said that authorities had followed the legal procedures.

“We are neither hunting them down nor threatening them,” said the commander.

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North East

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy

The Thaiger

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Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | The Thaiger

Thailand suffers calamities at both ends of the annual weather spectrum – both drought and flood. But as the demands on agriculture grow, with a growing population and the rise of tourists and development, the effects of these two extremes are becoming more apparent.

Which leads us to this year’s outlook of lower rains which is exposing the poor management of the Kingdom’s water resources. Greater development and growing population bases hasn’t been met with more or larger water catchments.

So Thai farmers are expected to face a tough 2019 as forecasters say the drought will be more acute than usual, lowering the water levels in reservoirs in the central and northeastern provinces especially.

Int eh south, Phuket, Thailand’s largest island and surrounded by water, has an acute water shortage as of Songkran and, without adequate monsoonal rain between now and November, will be facing a water crisis if it has to rely on its own island resources.

The Director General of Department of Agricultural Extension Samran Saraban says the drought this year is exacerbated by El-Nino weather cycle which causes temperature to rise 1-2 degrees higher than normal and cause the water levels in major reservoirs to drop to worrisome level. Higher temperatures mean more evaporation and more usage of reserves.

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for farmers not to grow off-season rice as drought is predicted to spread into northeastern and eastern regions. That there will likely be a new administration coping with political instability will not help leaders focus on the country’s looming water shortage.

The long dry season will lower certain farm outputs, pushing up their prices. However, an overall farm income is set to decline because the drought will leave other negative affects to farmers who are also the consumers as well. This will affect the purchasing power of farm households, which account for one-third of Thais.

Etc, etc, etc.

Economists estimated the damage from the drought on the economy this year could be high. Kasikorn Research Center estimate the drought could cost at least 15.3 billion baht. Whilst Anusorn Tamajai, Dean of Economics Faculty, Rangsit University, estimates the drought to cost even more – 20-30 billion baht -because it would affect the outputs of off-season rice, sugarcane and tapioca.

“It will dampen the purchasing power of farmers in the second quarter.”

Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence chief Yanyong Thaicharoen said that the lackluster farm income can slash the growth rate of domestic consumption this year to 3.5% versus 4.6% growth last year, in addition to other factors, namely, high household debt and slower demand for durable goods.

Spending power from farmers, according to SCB, is crucial to sustain the growth of the economy. However, the grassroots economy is bracing for negative outlook this year.

There will be intense pressure on this season’s management of Thailand’s valuable water resources, through the remaining hot season and as the catchments gather water during the monsoon.

Forecast drought will weaken the Thai economy | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger | Wikipedia

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