Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 June 2015
With 700 visitors from 23 countries representing 181 golf clubs the Centara World Masters Golf Championship has proved itself a truly global competition.
Staged at the Thailand resort town of Hua Hin from June 14 to 20 the event has cemented its position as Asia’s biggest, and richest, tournament for club golfers, aged 35 and over.
Golfers from as far afield as Iceland, France, Germany, the US and South Africa made the journey to Hua Hin while the bulk of entrants came from Australia with large groups from China, New Zealand and Philippines also represented.
A tournament for both women and men aged 35 and over it was pleasing to see 154 ladies taking part.
With 43 tournament staff on the ground the experience was five star for competitors, all of whom had their own caddy and cart for the tournament rounds, and the entertainment program and personalised hospitality drew plenty of praise as well.
“Together with my friends we travel the world playing tournaments,” Pablo Soon of the Philippines commented. “This is the best service we have ever experienced. There were staff to look after everything.”
While the golf is an important part of the event there is more to the Centara World Masters than just the club and ball game. And, there were plenty of occasions to share the fun with an opening night celebration, three 19th holes and the closing gala presentation. Clearly ‘fun’ was high on the agenda for most as 9,123 beers were served as opposed to 8,847 bottles of water.
With 48 winners from 14 divisions, 24 nearest the pins every day, 28 daily prize winners, 7 major prize draws and a range of lucky prize draws it’s no wonder the Centara World Masters continues to grow in reputation.
The 80 non-golfers were treated to cooking classes and a Hua Hin tour. Many also chose to take up additional day trips to experience the local floating market and River Kwai.
The tournament grew from 500 to 700 this year and such was the success of this year’s tournament, event organisers are planning for a capacity of 800 for the third annual event scheduled for 12 to 18 June 2016.
“We are so delighted with the success of the event, and based on the overwhelming positive feedback from participants, we are planning for 800 participants next year,” tournament director, Peter McCarthy, the principal of Australian tour operator, Go Golfing, said on Sunday.
Michael and Christine Marks from Sydney in Australia were among the hundreds confirming their return in 2016. “We loved the courses and meeting our new friends. We are already looking forward to next year.”
The headline sponsor, Centara Hotels and Resorts, was backed by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Thai Beverage, Coca-Cola Thailand, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Black Moutain, the City of Hua Hin and D’ablo Sportswear.
A gala prize-giving party at the Centara Grand Hotel on Friday night saw the main lucky draw prize go to Kim Payne from Thailand who won a return package to the 2016 Centara World Masters while Lansen Hsieh from the Philippines won a trip to the Ladbrokes World Masters tournament on Australia’s Gold Coast from 25-31 October 2015.
Three players scored a hole in one during the tournament. Rob Wilson from Australia aced the 6th hole at Majestic Creek, Nithis Jamlongkaew from Thailand on the 4th at Imperial LakeView and Alistair Purves recorded his hole in one of the 17th at Black Mountain.
Players from Australia and Asia dominated the 20 ladies and men’s divisions contested during the tournament.
Ladies 35-55 gross: Robyn Tait, Vietnam
Ladies 35-55 A grade stableford: LiJun Feng, China
Ladies 35-55 B grade stableford: Ester Fasol, Philippines
Ladies 56-65 gross: Marion Wright, Australia
Ladies 56-65 A grade stableford: Lansen Hsieh, Philippines
Ladies 56-65 B grade stableford: Mary Ang, Philippines
Ladies 66+ gross: Noeline Tukaokao, Australia
Ladies 66+ A grade stableford: Helen Nolan, Australia
Ladies 66+ B grade stableford: Loraine Luckie, Australia
Men’s 35-55 gross: Amit Luthra, India
Men’s 35-55 A grade stableford: Tanaset Theeranontakul, Thailand
Men’s 35-55 B grade stableford: Jonathon Tait, Vietnam
Men’s 35-55 C grade stableford: John Brislin, Australia
Men’s 56-65 A grade gross: Richard McGhie, Australia
Men’s 56-65 A grade stableford: Minh Vo Ahn, Vietnam
Men’s 56-65 B grade stableford: Ian Carr, Australia
Men’s 56-65 C grade stableford: Michael Marks, Australia
Men’s 66+ A grade gross: Tony Tan, Philippines
Men’s 66+ A grade stableford: Michael Norman, Australia
Men’s 66+ B grade stableford: Eric Butler, Australia
The tournament website www.ThailandWorldMasters.com has scores for all players and event photos. From 1 July players will be able to register for the 2016 tournament which runs 12-18 June 2016.