INTERNATIONAL FINAL QUALIFYING HEADS TO THAILAND FOR THE FIRST TIME

The Open Championship

For Immediate Publication

INTERNATIONAL FINAL QUALIFYING HEADS TO THAILAND FOR THE FIRST TIME

24 January 2011, Chonburi, Thailand: On 24 & 25 February, Bangkok’s Amata Spring Country Club will become the first Thai venue to host Open Championship International Final Qualifying Asia. The Club will welcome a field of a maximum of 78 players, who will compete for four places in the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George’s.

Amata Spring opened for play in November 2005. One of Asia’s most prestigious venues, it has already hosted several international events, including a recent exhibition skins game featuring three-time Open Champion Tiger Woods. The signature hole is the 17th, a par three of 145 yards that boasts the only floating green in Asia.

“Amata Spring is a fitting venue for IFQ’s first visit to Thailand,” said R&A Director, Michael Tate. “In its short history, it has proven itself a stern test for some of the world’s best players, and it will undoubtedly give us four qualifiers worthy of their place at Royal St George’s.”

Amata Spring’s Executive Director, Sarath Ratanavadi, said: “It’s an honour to be the first club in Thailand to host International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship. In five years, the Club and its course have established a reputation for excellence, and the staging of one of five worldwide qualifying events for golf’s oldest Major will only serve to enhance that.”

With the addition of Amata Spring, IFQ Asia will have visited three countries since International Final Qualifying was introduced in 2004. Saujana Country Club in Malaysia has staged the event on three occasions, including in 2010, while Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club has hosted it four times.

The closing date for entries is 14 February.

ENDS

Note to Editors

IFQ
International Final Qualifying (IFQ) events for The Open Championship were introduced in 2004 and are held on five continents to give more players from around the world the chance to gain direct entry into golf's oldest championship.

IFQ for the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George’s:

IFQ - Australasia: Kingston Heath, Melbourne, Australia, 11 January
IFQ - Africa: Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, South Africa, 19 & 20 January
IFQ - Asia: Amata Spring, Thailand, 24 & 25 February
IFQ - America: Gleneagles, Plano, Texas, USA, 23 May
IFQ - Europe: Sunningdale, Berkshire, England, 6 June

The R&A
Based in St Andrews, The R&A is golf's governing body and organiser of The Open Championship. The R&A is committed to working for golf and operates with the consent of 141 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 126 countries.

Further information:

Rhodri Price
Assistant Director - Championships

Malcolm Booth
Assistant Director - Head of Communications

The R&A
Tel: +44 1334 460000