Golf: Rising Asian stars Ratchanon and Ding Wenyi to play in February’s Singapore Classic

SINGAPORE – Two of Asia’s top male amateur golfers, Thailand’s Ratchanon Chantananuwat, 15, and China’s Ding Wenyi, 17, will be taking part in February’s Singapore Classic at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club, organisers announced on Wednesday.

Ratchanon and Wenyi, ranked 17th and 15th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings respectively, carry with them stellar form from 2022 and will lead the region’s amateurs in the Feb 9-12 tournament as the DP World Tour returns to Singapore for the first time since 2014.

Thai prodigy Ratchanon, also known as TK, became the youngest male player to win on the Asian Tour when he clinched the Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup in April 2022.

Wenyi had a similarly remarkable year. He triumphed in the prestigious US Junior Amateur Championships, famously won by Tiger Woods from 1991 to 1993, to secure qualification into the 2023 US Open, one of golf’s four Majors.

Both players are no stranger to Laguna, having practised there in 2022. Ratchanon also finished third in his first overseas event on the Asian Tour at the Singapore International at Tanah Merah Country Club in January 2022.

“I’m looking forward to playing on the DP World Tour. I can’t wait to come back to Singapore and play alongside some of the best golfers. Hopefully there will be more memories I can take home from here again,” said the Thai.

Other Asian talents who have booked their places at the US$2 million (S$2.66 million) Singapore Classic include amateur Taichi Kho of Hong Kong and professional golfer Amarin “Ray” Kraivixien of Thailand. Both finished first and second respectively in a qualifying event in December. 

Kho, who carded a four-under 68 to top the qualifiers, is thrilled to play on the DP World Tour. The 22-year-old said: “Once I saw the DP World Tour schedule and how many tournaments there are in Asia, I definitely wanted to play in a couple of them. To have this opportunity to not only qualify, but to make the most of it is something I’m really grateful for. I’m really looking forward to the tournament.”

The DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour, first visited Singapore in 1993. The inaugural tournament was won by Sir Nick Faldo, with fellow Major champions Vijay Singh and Adam Scott also winning it subsequently.

Single-session tickets are available from $25, while a four-day event pass is priced at $80. All tickets can be purchased via Sistic.

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