Thailand, Korea and Philippines book World Golf Cup berths


Kuala Lumpur : Thailand won the Fortis International Challenge Sunday to boork a berth in the World Cup of Golf along with South Korea and the Philippines, who join India and China, the automatic qualifiers for the event.

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Thai hotshots Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng carded a final round of eight under par 64 in the foursomes and will be in action with India’s Jyoti Randhawa and Gaurav Ghei at the Omega Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China, Nov 22-25.

As Thailand qualified with a staggering 30-under-par 258 aggregate, three shots clear of Holland’s Maarten Lafeber and Robert-Jan Derksen, who closed with a 67, other teams going through were New Zealand’s Richard Lee and Stephen Scahill, Korean duo Lee Sung and Lee Seung-ho, and the Filipino pair of Tony Lascuna and Gerald Rosales.

The Philippines pipped Malaysia’s Iain Steel and Airil Rizman and Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing and Mardan Mamat by a single stroke.

China, fielding Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Lian-wei, qualified as hosts, while India’s Randhawa earned one of the 18 automatic qualifying berths and then picked Ghei as his partner.

The top 18 available players according to the world rankings get automatic berths and also pick their playing partners for the tournament.

Thailand’s spectacular display saw Thongchai’s wish come true as he has never featured in the World Cup previously.

“It feels good. I have a very good partner in Prayad. He played very well this week. He was just so steady. I told Prayad that if he can hit his irons well at the start of the round, we could get some birdies early on as my putting has been good. It was easy. We didn’t miss a single green which was very good,” said Thongchai.

The 18 teams that earned the automatic berths were:
Argentina: Andres Romero & Ricardo Gonzalez
Australia: Nick O’Hern & partner
Austria: Markus Brier & partner
Canada: Mike Weir & partner
China: Liang Wen-chong & Zhang Lian-wei
Denmark: Anders Hansen & Soren Hansen
England: Justin Rose & Ian Poulter
France: Raphael Jacquelin & Gregory Havret
Finland: Mikko Ilonen & Pasi Purhonen
Germany: Martin Kaymer & Alex Cejka
India: Jyoti Randhawa & Gaurev Ghei
Japan: Hideto Tanihara & partner
Scotland: Colin Montgomerie & Marc Warren
South Africa: Retief Goosen & partner
Spain: Jose Maria Olazábal & Miguel Angel Jimenez
Sweden: Robert Karlsson & Peter Hanson
USA: Arron Oberholser & Sean O’Hair
Wales: Stephen Dodd & Bradley Dredge

The qualifiers from the Fortis Challenge:
258 -Thailand (Thongchai Jaidee, Prayad Marksaeng) 61-70-63-64
261 – Holland (Robert-Jan Derksen, Maarten Lafeber) 64-69-61-67
266 – New Zealand (Richard Lee, Stephen Scahill) 66-67-66-67
267 – Korea (Lee Seung-Ho, Lee Sung) 65-67-66-69
268 – Philippines (Tony Lascuna, Gerald Rosales) 65-68-64-71