Thailand’s Rae-Vadee T. Suwan, a long-standing supporter of golf in the region, presented the winner of the first Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific with a medal named in her honour.
A driving force behind the Queen Sirikit Cup and Ladies Asian Golf Tour, Rae-Vadee has been a Member of the Board of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) since 2016. On Saturday she presented the medal to compatriot Atthaya Thitikul, 15, after she came through a four-way play-off to be crowned champion at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.
“It’s a great honour to have my name on the Champion’s Medal for the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific and it will be a special privilege to award it to the first winner of this special event, which is a fantastic initiative by the APGC and The R&A,” Rae-Vadee said.
“I’m a huge believer in the growth potential of golf in this region, especially in the women’s game, and the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific provides a high-profile platform for our leading young players looking to move onto the biggest stages in world golf.”
Kei Muratsu, Chairman of the APGC, said: “Rae-Vadee T. Suwan’s contribution to the development of women’s amateur and professional golf in Asia-Pacific is remarkable and it’s important that the new generations understand the work done by those before them. Rae-Vadee has created an incredible legacy and the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific can help continue the tremendous work by her and others by shaping the future.”
Dominic Wall, Director Asia-Pacific of The R&A, added: “Rae-Vadee T. Suwan has been a true pioneer of women’s golf in the region for over 40 years and it’s only fitting that the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Champion’s Medal is named in her honour. We’re delighted Rae-Vadee will be here at Sentosa Golf Club to present the medal to our first winner and crown an exceptional first edition of the championship.”
In 1978, she launched the first Thailand Ladies Amateur Open and Inter-Club Team Championships and a year later co-founded the Thailand Ladies Golf Association.
Arguably Rae-Vadee’s biggest legacy is her role in the Queen Sirikit Cup, launching the first edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Ladies Golf Team Championship in 1979 and working as Secretary-General or in other capacities in 39 editions of the event. She has also worked on 26 editions of both the Thailand Ladies Amateur Open and Thailand Ladies Open professional tournament.
In 1987, she was a co-founder of the Kosaido Ladies Asia Golf Circuit, serving as the Circuit Coordinator for 17 years until the Tour ended in 2003. In 2005, she helped relaunch the regional circuit as the Ladies Asian Golf Tour, serving as its President for five years (2005-09) and its Chairman for four years (2009-2013).
The inaugural 72-hole Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific teed off on The New Tanjong course at Sentosa Golf Club on Wednesday and features 83 players representing 18 nations, with more than half of the field aged 18 or under.
As a result of her win, Atthaya Thitikul receives invitations to the ANA Inspiration (29 March-1 April) at Mission Hills Country Club in California, USA, and the Ricoh Women’s British Open (2-5 August) at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, as well as next week’s 11th HSBC Women’s World Championship, also at Sentosa Golf Club.