LPGA Stars to Shine in Thailand: Honda LPGA 2024 Promises World-Class Golf Action at Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course, February 22-25, 2024
(Bangkok – 14th November 2023) The world’s leading women golfers are once more primed to dazzle at the Honda LPGA Thailand 2024, one of the jewels in the crown of professional golf in Asia.
Featuring a star-studded cast, the 72-hole stroke play event will be staged over the historic Old Course at Siam Country Club from February 22-25, 2024, and will offer a prize fund of US$1.7 million (aprox. 62 million Baht).
Within the formidable 72-player lineup, golf fans will witness the presence of defending champion Lilia Vu, a two-time Major victor, alongside a robust contingent from Thailand.
Celebrating its 17th edition next year, the Honda LPGA Thailand is one of the region’s longest-running professional sporting events, building an extensive worldwide following and helping to spread the word about Thailand as a hotspot for golf tourism.
Since its inception in 2006, the tournament has served as an inspirational platform for golf enthusiasts. In 2023, a total of 46,879 spectators attended the event during the course of the week, while global television viewership reached 540 million households.
Mr. Pitak Pruittisarikorn, Chairman of the Board, Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., said: “Renowned for its rich history, the Honda LPGA Thailand is set to captivate golf enthusiasts once again. The recent outstanding performances by Thai golfers in this event, combined with their international stage presence throughout the year, make it believed that the competition for the championship among Thai women golfers this time will be even more exciting than before.”
He remarked: “Over the span of 17 years, the Honda LPGA has played a role in developing and elevating the Thai golf scene to global recognition. It has also served as an inspiring platform for golf enthusiasts. Each year witnesses a growing influx of both Thai and international golf fans to the event. Notably, in February 2022, the tournament drew nearly 50,000 spectators and reached a vast global television audience of 540 million households. In the upcoming edition, 72 top-ranked women golfers from Thailand and worldwide will compete over 72 holes without a cut. This year, the Thai players, particularly, are drawing attention due to their remarkable performances and victories in various significant tournaments. Their success is believed to attract and engage golf fans further, ensuring an even more compelling competition.”
Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, Minister of Tourism and Sports, emphasized the crucial role of golf in shaping Thailand’s global reputation and driving economic growth. Golf, a sport with enduring popularity in the country, has consistently elevated Thailand’s standing on the world stage and stimulated local and national economies.
She said: “With an eye on the 2024 Honda LPGA Thailand event, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports expects a boost in tourism and heightened interest in golf, fostering talent development and overall industry growth. This aligns with the Ministry’s commitment to utilizing sports, particularly golf, to promote tourism, sports tourism and stimulate domestic travel.”
On a thrilling final day, at the Honda LPGA Thailand 2023, American Vu held off the challenge of LPGA Tour rookie and Thailand native Natthakrita Vongtaveelap to claim her maiden title, which proved the catalyst to a sensational season.
“The Honda LPGA Thailand was truly a memorable event for me because it was my first win on the LPGA Tour. Starting the season strong in Thailand gave me confidence for the tournaments that followed,” said Vu, who went on to win two Major championships and was recently crowned an LPGA Tour champion for the fourth time this season at The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican and soared to the top of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
Natthakrita’s courageous effort was the latest outstanding display from home players in a tournament that has earned a reputation for nurturing Thai talent.
Home favourites Pajaree Anannarukarn and Patty Tavatanakit shared their thoughts on why the Honda LPGA Thailand is such an important platform for the Thai players.
Pajaree said: “The Honda LPGA Thailand is an event eagerly anticipated by Thai golf fans, including myself. I had the opportunity to compete as an amateur in 2017, and within just a few years golf in Thailand has become more accessible. People from all walks of life are increasingly interested in the sport. This brings me joy and motivates me to continue inspiring everyone in the future.”
Tavatanakit, a Major champion, added: “I’ve had the opportunity to play in the Honda LPGA Thailand event five times, starting in 2015. Thai and international fans come out in force to support the tournament every year. This event plays a crucial role in promoting Thailand as a golf destination. It has successfully attracted tourists to play golf in Thailand, and it’s been great for Thailand.”
On the LPGA Tour this year, Pajaree won the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play in May while Chanettee Wannasaen triumphed in the Portland Classic at the start of September. With those successes, Thailand now has seven players who between them have won on a total of 22 occasions on the LPGA Tour.
Twelve of those wins belong to two-time Major Champion, Ariya Jutanugarn, whose triumph in the Honda LPGA Thailand in 2021, when she edged out Atthaya by one stroke, remains the only Thai victory in the event to date.
This year also witnessed Atthaya, Tavatanakit, and the Jutanugarn sisters – Ariya and Moriya – combine to clinch the team championship for the first time in the International Crown event.
In 2024, the Honda LPGA Thailand will continue its commitment to provide opportunities to up-and-coming Thai players with the continuation of the Honda LPGA Thailand 2024 National Qualifiers, a proven platform for catapulting professional and amateur Thai golfers into the international arena.
This initiative is part of a comprehensive programme encompassing Young Ambassador internships, Junior Golf Clinics, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities – important endeavours, extending beyond the tournament itself to further the country’s golf development.
On and off the fabled Old Course at Siam Country Club, an exciting and vibrant atmosphere is assured.
Ms. Winnie Heng, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, IMG Services (Thailand) Ltd., the event promoter and organiser, said: “IMG is proud to collaborate with Honda in hosting the LPGA Tour event in Thailand. We are excited to offer another memorable experience at Siam Country Club, showcasing world-class golfers who will inspire sports enthusiasts of all ages and genders.
Heng continued: “In addition to witnessing top global golfers over four days, spectators at the Honda LPGA Thailand 2024 will also be able to enjoy a wide variety of fun activities for families and friends, as well as extensive food and beverage offerings.”
General admission and VIP tickets for the Honda LPGA Thailand 2024 will be available for purchase from November 14, 2023, on the event’s official website: hondalpgathailand.com. Individuals under 16 years old and those above 60 can register to attend the event for free through hondalpgathailand.com.
For more information and updates, visit the official website at hondalpgathailand.com or follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lpgaThailand and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/hondalpgathailand.
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About Honda LPGA Thailand
The Honda LPGA Thailand has been held since 2006 and is organised and promoted by IMG. The main sponsors are Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. This tournament is a significant part of the LPGA Tour and is the only LPGA Tour event hosted in Thailand. It has been a prominent fixture for over 17 years. This event serves as a platform for amateur and professional golfers and has played a pivotal role in elevating Thailand’s status as a leading golf destination globally. For the 2024 competition, 72 of the world’s top golfers will participate, competing for a prize purse of US$1.7 million.