Hua Hin, Thailand, June 23 -- The success of the inaugural Centara World Masters Golf Championship, a week-long tournament played last week in Hua Hin, Thailand, has prompted its organizers to plan an expanded event for 2015.
The tournament, for male and female club golfers aged 35 and over, attracted more than 500 participants from 23 countries, representing 193 golf clubs. It was the largest event of its kind ever played in Asia.
“We are so delighted with the success of the event, and based on the overwhelming positive feedback from participants, we are planning for 700-plus players next year,” tournament director, Peter McCarthy, the principal of Australian tour operator, Go Golfing, said on Sunday.
He and fellow organizer, Mark Siegel, who owns Asia’s largest golf tour operator, Golfasian, have already received more than 100 bookings before the 2015 event, to be played again in Hua Hin, from June 14-19, is launched.
Black Mountain, Banyan, Majestic Creek and Imperial Lake View were the host courses this year, and with the anticipated increase in participants, more courses may be added.
Ross and Barbara Hopkins, of Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, were typical of many participants who said the tournament exceeded all expectations.
“It was a great experience and very professionally organised,” Barbara said at the conclusion of the event. “We met some wonderful people, played some great courses and had a week to remember.”
Fellow Queenslander, Denis O’Brien, was impressed with the quality of the courses. “They were all of a very high standard,” he said. “I have played golf in Asia before and these caddies were just fabulous.”
The headline sponsor, Centara Hotels and Resorts, was backed by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Thai Beverage, Coca-Cola Thailand, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, 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 Sujurd Tsao of Taiwan, who won a return trip to the TaylorMade World Masters on the Gold Coast, Queensland, in Australia in October. Runner-up, Nat Anderson of Western Australia, won a trip to next year’s Centara World Masters.
Players from South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Singapore, the Philippines and India won the 16 ladies and men’s divisions contested during the tournament. All scores are on the tournament website: www.ThailandWorldMasters.com which will also soon feature information about the 2015 event.