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Phuket Sports: Wood claims maiden victory at Thailand Open

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: Wood claims maiden victory at Thailand Open | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Englishman Chris Wood claimed the first win of his professional career yesterday with a two-shot victory in a rain-interrupted US$1million Thailand Open, breaking the hearts of home fans hoping for the first Thai champion in eight years.

The 24-year-old European Tour regular – competing in a OneAsia Tour event for the first time – fired rounds of 67, 64, 67 and 67 for a 23-under par total of 265. However preferred lies were allowed because of soggy conditions at the 6,471 meter (7,077 yard) Suwan Golf & Country Club.

Thais Arnond Vongvanij and Wisut Artjanawat battled to catch Wood, but had to settle for a share of third place with Korean Lee Dong-hwan .

Alone in second was Jang Dong-kyu, also of Korea, who completed the first nine holes in just 29 shots to card a closing 63 and the best result of his career.

“It is brilliant – I am really, really pleased,” said Wood, after what appeared to be a victory march from the 17, which was interrupted by a rain delay of over an hour.

“It is hard winning. I always felt that once I got one win it would give me the confidence to go on and win more. So, hopefully I can take this confidence back to the remainder of the tournaments I have got for the season.”

Wood, one of five European Tour regulars competing in the event, was four under after six holes, but gave his rivals a glimmer of hope with a bogey on the eighth.

At the 11th, however, he put one hand on the winner’s cheque of over US$181,000 with a birdie putt of around 30 feet – and effectively pocketed it with an even longer effort on 15.

“It was a tough putt, but I putted really nicely this week.

“I think I have turned the corner in my putting, which has let me down all season. I have been playing as well as I have done this week but without converting chances. It is nice to convert a few. I always knew once I cracked the putting I would be winning and this week proved my point,” he said.

Thailand has not produced a home winner of the National Open since Boonchu Ruangkit won his second in 2004, and the only other local winner of the event, Suthep Meesawat (1991), was at the course to watch his son, Prom, try to emulate that feat.

The “Big Dolphin”, as Prom is known locally, was in the lead after two rounds, but could go no better than par over the weekend to slip down the leader board.

His close friends Wisut and Arnond took up the challenge, but the pressure of winning a trophy with spiritual significance for Thais because it was donated by the much-revered King, proved too much.

“Just a few players played a little better than I did, so [there are] a lot of positives to take away from the Thailand Open,” said Arnond, who went to college in the United States.

“I birdied the first three holes on the back nine and I did start to think at that time that I could win, but the thoughts disappeared pretty quickly.

“I was just trying to focus on the next shot. I figured if I could focus on the next shot and do what I was doing and the putts dropped, great. I just came up a few short.”

Wisut, winner of the ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit last year, was also buoyant despite missing two putts on the last two holes that could have made all the difference.

“I can’t complain as this is my best ever result in a tournament at this level,” said Wisut.

“I am very happy as my game is really improving and this week will give me a lot of confidence to continue to produce results like this. It is a breakthrough for me.”

At four under, the cut was the lowest in OneAsia’s history – reflecting the strength of a field that was also bolstered by the presence of 20 Japan Tour players as part of a growing relationship between the two circuits.

Thai Open winner Wood turned professional in 2008 after finishing fifth in the Open Championship and then underscored his potential by bettering that the following year when he just missed out on making a play-off with Stewart Cink and Tom Watson at Turnberry. With a second and third place finish on the European tour this year, it was only a matter of time before he broke his duck.

Thailand Open defending champion Andre Stolz of Australia, who went on the win the OneAsia Order of Merit title last year, finished at eleven under after closing with a 67, his best round of the week.

The day belonged to Wood, who plans a break with his family to celebrate the win.

“I am going home for a week, a bit of rest, share it with my family and then onto Gleneagles in Scotland for a tournament,” he said.

By media release.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.

The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.

The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.

Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.

As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.

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