Thai golfing legend Boonchu Ruangkit (pic) has been picked by playing captain Thongchai Jaidee as Team Asia's vice-captain for the EurAsia Cup golf championship from March 27-29 at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in KL. - AFP
KUALA LUMPUR: Team Asia playing captain Thongchai Jaidee has picked fellow Thai golf great Boonchu Ruangkit as his vice-captain for the inaugural EurAsia Cup, presented by DRB-Hicom, later this month.
Thongchai is delighted that the highly-respected Boonchu has accepted the invitation to join his backroom team for the Ryder Cup-style showdown against Team Europe at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 27-29.
Boonchu, 57, is one of Asia’s living legends of golf. He has five Asian Tour titles under his belt and his chequered career also includes the 2010 European Seniors Tour Order of Merit crown, thanks to four victories during the season.
He has also succeeded in holding his own on the Asian Tour where he has kept his full playing rights on the region’s premier Tour in the past two seasons, finishing 61st and 50th on the Merit list, which includes five top-10s. When the Asian Tour was launched as a players’ organisation in 2004, Boonchu was given the honour of striking the opening tee shot.
“I am honoured that Thongchai has invited me to become Team Asia’s vice-captain. I hope to play my part in the EurAsia Cup and I have every confidence our team players will compete with honour and pride as they fight for Team Asia,” said Boonchu.
Team Asia will be represented by Asian Tour No. 1 Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman and India’s Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who all finished as the leading four Asian players on the 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit.
South Korea’s Kim Hyung-sung and Japanese duo Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara earned their places through the Official World Golf Ranking while Nicholas Fung of Malaysia and Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng were named as captain’s picks by Thongchai.
Spanish great Miguel Angel Jimenez is the playing captain for Team Europe, which will include Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, who finished runner-up in the recent WGC-Accenture Match Play, Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, Dutchman Joost Luiten and Scotsman Stephen Gallacher. Jimenez’s captain’s picks are countrymen Pablo Larrazabal and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.