Lee Westwood/ asiantour.com
The top contender this week the top at the US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship staged at the Amata Spring Country Club, is Asian specialist Lee Westwood. Lee is known around the world as an Asian specialist because of his record of multiple victories around the region including the 2011 Thailand Golf Championship, where he romped home to a seven-shot win over South African Charl Schwartzel. During that week, Lee also flirted with the magical score of 59, just missing the mark by one stroke, in the opening round. He is in fine form this season, winning the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters on the Asian Tour following a third place result at The Masters. Lee has missed only one cut this season, and enjoys a World Ranking of 6th.
Bubba Watson will bring his own specialist style of golf to challenge the Championship at Amata Spring. Bubba is the reigning Masters Champion, and well-known for his extra long drives on the PGA Tour, where he averages over 315 yards. Bubba also has four top ten finishes this year in the U.S. and is determined to set his sights on victory here in Asia.
Gaganjeet Bhullar, currently fourth on the Asian Tour of Merit,is a young Indian player who has had a wonderful run of results on the Asian Tour, winning twice, and also finished tied 10th at the CIMB classic in Malaysia. Gaganjeet has a mathematical chance of toppling Thaworn Wiratchant at the top of the Order of Merit but needs a really good finish here and then again next week in Malaysia. Thaworn himself is on course to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit, standing in 1st place at the moment, this would be the second time since 2005. He has three victories on the Tour this season and is certainly enjoying a purple patch. Thaworn finished second at the King’s Cup on home soil last week and knows a big finish this week will see him creep closer towards the prestigious Merit crown.
Sergio Garcia has enjoyed a resurgence of form earning him back-to-back wins in late 2011. He won again this year on the PGA Tour, at the Wyndham Championship and also has had six other top-ten finishes. And of course Sergio also played a starring role for Europe in the Ryder Cup victory over the United States in September. His current World Ranking is 22nd and he finished in fourth spot last year in the Thailand Golf Championship. Another notable from Europe and Ryder Cup player is Nicolas Colsaerts, the Belgian is the longest driver of a golf ball on the European Tour. Nicolas had a wonderful season winning the Volvo World Matchplay, and has also amassed eleven top ten finishes, and is ranked 35th in the World.
South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters Champion is also contesting this event, he is looking for his first win of 2012, to back up his seven top ten finishes this year. To win this year would help erase the memory of last years thrashing in the final at the hands of Lee Westwood.
This is a good field for this tournament and it should be a hotly contested affair, which will be a pleasure to watch.