Asia’s road to British Open begins at Amata Spring

The floating green at the par-3 17th hole at Bangkok's Amata Spring Country Club.

BANGKOK, Thailand – Amata Spring Country Club will become the first Thai venue to host Open Championship International Final Qualifying Asia.

On Feb. 24-25, the club will welcome a field of 78 players, who will compete for four invites to the 2011 British Open at Royal St. George’s in England.

Amata Spring opened for play in November 2005 and already has hosted several international events, including the first four editions of the Royal Trophy match play between Asia and Europe and a recent skins game featuring 14-time major champion Tiger Woods.

The signature hole is the 17th, a 145 yard-par 3 that boasts the only floating green in Asia.

“Amata Spring is a fitting venue for IFQ’s first visit to Thailand,” R&A Director Michael Tate said. “In its short history, it has proven itself a stern test for some of the world’s best players, and it will undoubtedly give us four qualifiers worthy of their place at Royal St George’s.”

With the addition of Amata Spring, IFQ Asia will have visited three countries since International Final Qualifying was introduced in 2004 by the R&A. Saujana Golf and Country Club in Malaysia has staged the event on three occasions, and Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club has hosted it four times.

The closing date for entries is Feb. 14.

Last year, Asian Tour members Hiroyuki Fujita of Japan, Danny Chia of Malaysia and 2010 Order of Merit champion Seung-yul Noh of South Korea qualified for the Open at St. Andrews through IFQ – Asia. Korean amateur Eric Chun was the fourth qualifier.

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