The 2018 Amaz­ing Thai­land In­vi­ta­tional By The Tourism Author­ity of Thai­land

Of golf and gas­tron­omy with TAT am­bas­sadors Mo and May

Golf Asia - - CONTENTS - STORY AND PHO­TOS BY NATASHA WONG

In women’s golf, 2018 is the year for Thai­land. And is the world ready for the phe­nom­e­non of hav­ing not just one, but two Thai women within Top 10 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rank­ings? And Sis­ters no less. While 24-year old Moriya Ju­tanu­garn ex­pe­ri­enced her break­out year with her first vic­tory at this year’s Hugel JTBC L.A. Open, Her younger sis­ter Ariya, the first Thai per­son ever to reach World No. 1 back in 2017, chalked up 3 more wins to make it 10 vic­to­ries on the LPGA Tour in­clud­ing the 2018 US Women’s Open, her sec­ond ma­jor vic­tory.

Moriya and Ariya Ju­tanu­garn were ap­pointed by the Tourism Author­ity of Thai­land (TAT) as am­bas­sadors for the

2018 Amaz­ing Thai­land In­vi­ta­tional held at the Alpine Golf Club in Bangkok. And close to 160 golfers from Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Ja­pan and the Philip­pines were treated to an up close and per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with ‘Mo' (Moriya) and ‘May' (Ariya), who con­ducted a putting clinic and tire­lessly obliged fans with au­to­graphs and pho­to­graphs over the course of the event. The tour­na­ment it­self was based on the eq­ui­table Sys­tem 36 sta­ble­ford for­mat of play. Ayon Stephen Sanchez from the Philip­pines shot a com­mend­able gross score of 77, amass­ing 41-sta­ble­ford points to clinch the cham­pi­onship tro­phy.

Be­yond golf, the TAT also or­gan­ised a som tam (spicy pa­paya salad) cook­ing class. Moriya, who loves to cook in her free time, shared tips on how to make her ver­sion of that dish. As if that wasn't enough, sev­eral lucky par­tic­i­pants were se­lected to be seated with the Ju­tanu­garns dur­ing a gala din­ner. So­cial golfer El­iza Lau from Sin­ga­pore shared, “Com­ing face to face with Ariya Ju­tanu­garn left me speech­less. She is sim­ply beau­ti­ful with her large ex­quis­ite eyes and gor­geous skin. Over the course of the evening, I learned that she has an equally beau­ti­ful heart, de­void of ar­ro­gance. She spoke warmly of her sup­port­ive fa­ther and fam­ily, and how they ‘do not al­low papa to travel any­more due to his health con­di­tion'. I also learned about the foun­da­tion that she and her sis­ter Moriya set up, and saw pho­tos of the house they are build­ing for a home­less fam­ily out­side of Bangkok.”

Just as golf and Thai­land are in­evitably con­nected, ‘Golf and Gas­tron­omy' are the per­fect part­ner­ing in­gre­di­ents for the ideal travel ex­pe­ri­ence. Bangkok re­leased its in­au­gu­ral Miche­lin Guide in 2017, ahead of the Phuket and Phang Nga edi­tions due to be re­leased in 2019, un­der­lin­ing the rich­ness of the coun­try's ever-chang­ing culi­nary scene. And In re­cent years, the golf­ing scene has also evolved with the ad­di­tion of new cour­ses like the Nikanti Golf Club in Bangkok, the Chan Chee Golf Re­sort in Pat­taya and the Katathong Golf Re­sort and Spa in Phuket.

The dy­namic and ever grow­ing com­bi­na­tion of the new and the fa­mil­iar in golf and gas­tron­omy con­tin­ues to draw even the most sea­soned of golf trav­ellers back to Amaz­ing Thai­land.

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