The European Tour will visit Thailand for the second time in 2016 when the King’s Cup, co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour, is played at Phoenix Gold Golf Club in Pattaya from July 28-31.
The event is returning to the Asian Tour schedule having been first played in 2009, but it is the first time the European Tour will co-sanction it, with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) supporting the tournament as primary sponsors.
It will mark the first time Thailand has featured on the European Tour International Schedule twice in a season, and the tournament will carry a prize fund of US$750,000.
The field for the King’s Cup will comprise 90 players from the Asian Tour, 25 from the European Tour and 25 from the Thailand PGA, with prize money counting towards both the Race to Dubai and the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “We are delighted to be adding another tournament to the schedule, which gives those European Tour members not playing in the US PGA Championship an opportunity to compete that week.
“We had a very successful visit to Thailand in February; it’s a wonderful country with some of the most warm, welcoming people in the world, so we are very much looking forward to returning for the King’s Cup.
“We have long enjoyed a very successful relationship with the Asian Tour, and adding a new co-sanctioned event to our schedule is another positive step forward.”
SAT Governor Sakon Wannapong said: “We are delighted to announce the return of the King’s Cup, which is truly a revered golf tournament in Thailand and Asia as it is staged in honour of our King of Thailand.
“The SAT will work closely with the Thailand PGA, Asian Tour and European Tour to ensure the 2016 staging of the King’s Cup is successful. With live television, it will promote our country extensively across the globe and showcase the beauty of our nation.”
Asian Tour Commissioner Kyi Hla Han said the return of the King’s Cup was a tremendous boost for the development of professional golf in the region.
“The Asian Tour and our talented players look forward to returning to Thailand for the King’s Cup. This is a fantastic development for golf as it reinforces yet again the growing strength of the game in Asia,” said Han.
“Since the beginning of this year, the Asian Tour has already welcomed back tournaments in Singapore, Myanmar and Korea, and also launched a new tournament in Japan. With the King’s Cup now featuring on our 2016 schedule, it will provide further playing opportunities for our members, especially with the Olympic Games being held a few weeks after the tournament.
“We are also delighted to co-sanction the King’s Cup with our long-time partner, the European Tour. I believe the addition of 25 European Tour players in the field will strengthen what is already a highly-regarded and prestigious golf tournament.”