The history of the Queen Sirikit Cup—officially known as the Amateur Ladies Asia-Pacific Invitational Golf Team Championship - is very much a part of the history of Thailand Ladies Golf Association which was registered in February 1979, under the chairmanship of Mom Kobkaew Abhakara. One of the Association’s founders, Rae-Vadee T. Suwan, came up with the idea to launch a national team championship in view of the fact that no international ladies’ event existed in the region at that time. She felt that lady golfers with great potential but insufficient financial resources could not go very far in their game. It was timely for them to be given a chance to play at a higher level and accomplish more for themselves and their countries. Through the championship, a higher standard of the game could be raised and more friendships could be formed.
Hence a proposal was sent to the national golf association of 14 countries including Thailand, namely, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand to send a team of 3 players to launch the national team championship in Bangkok, Thailand. Of the 14 countries invited, nine countries participated in the inaugural event, known then as the “Amateur Ladies Asian Invitational Golf Team Championship”.
Mom Kobkaew Abhakara was instrumental in requesting the challenge trophy from Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand who graciously granted Her permission to have the trophy named after Her as the “Queen Sirikit Cup”.
The Queen Sirikit Cup is a beautifully handcrafted silver trophy and the exact replica is presented to the champion team each year.
THE FIRST DECADE (1979-1988)
The inaugural Queen Sirikit Cup was hosted by Thailand at Navatanee Golf Course, venue of the 1975 World Cup, during February 15-17, 1979. Teams represented were Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Japan won the first championship with Thailand as runner-up.
At the first Team Captains’ meeting, it was agreed that future hostings of the championship would be on a rotation basis among the member countries. Indonesia came forward to host the second event that welcomed in two more countries, Australia and Philippines, to make up 11 teams. Japan successfully defended her title for the second year and became the host for the 3rd championship, where Australia captured the Cup for the first time.
For the next three years from 1981-1983 Australia dominated the field by winning the Queen Sirikit Cup consecutively in Japan, Sri Lanka and Singapore. When it was Australia’s turn to host the 6th championship, the 12th member, New Zealand, decided to join the tournament and walked away with the Cup in her first participation. Australia, however, recaptured the Cup again for the next 2 years in Malaysia and India.
In 1987 Japan won for the 3rd time in the Philippines while Korea rejoined the championship with young and promising players after an absence of 7 years since the inaugural championship in 1979.
The 10th anniversary of the Queen Sirikit Cup was celebrated in Thailand in 1988 with full participation of 12 member teams. Australia continued to maintain her top performance and won the Cup for the 6th time in the first decade. The tournament’s theme song, The Women’s Spirit, was launched on this occasion and the teams were granted an audience with H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who represented Her mother, H.M. Queen Sirikit, at Chitralada Palace.
THE SECOND DECADE (1989-1998)
The second decade started in New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China joined the championship as its 13th member. Korea did well this decade to win her maiden Cup in New Zealand in 1989 and continued the winning trek, with exceptions in 1990 and 1993, to capture the title six more times.
The 12th Queen Sirikit Cup was played in Hong Kong in 1990 with full participation of 13 members. New Zealand won her second title here since 1984. The next 2 years Korea regained her title on home ground Korea and in China. In 1993 when Australia played host for the 2nd time in the 15th championships, it was Japan who beat the home team favourite and gained her 4th title since 5 years earlier.
Korea continued to prove her dominance of the game for the next 3 years by winning in Indonesia, Japan and Thailand from 1994-1996. However, in the 19th Queen Sirikit Cup which was hosted by the Philippines for the second round after 10 years, Japan felt most at home and captured the title here again, adding to her 5th victory.
At the close of the 2nd decade in 1998 Korea celebrated her 7th title in India and became the team with the most wins. Australia came second with 6, followed by Japan with 5 and New Zealand with 2 wins. The championship also welcomed its 14th member, Chinese Taipei, to join at the 20th anniversary of the Queen Sirikit Cup in India.
THE THIRD DECADE (1999-2008)
The 3rd decade of the Queen Sirikit Cup began in New Zealand where the first-ever playoff for the team title between host team New Zealand and newcomer Chinese Taipei was witnessed when both were tied at the scores of 436. It was also here that the biggest galleries of spectators turned up to support the event and their home team. After an exciting playoff, New Zealand team succeeded in pleasing the crowd and won the team title, while Chinese Taipei captured the best individual title.
The 22nd and 23rd championships were played in Taiwan and Hong Kong respectively and Australia came back to win both events back to back. The first-ever playoff for individual title was recorded here in Hong Kong in 2001 when Australia’s Rebecca Stevenson beat Kim Joo Mi of Korea after they were tied at 214.
The most exciting championship was in 2002 when the 24th tournament was hosted in Malaysia, when both the team and individual titles had to be decided by sudden-death playoff. After 3 rounds at A’Famosa Golf Resort, both Japan and Korea were tied with a new low record of 419 total, while Japan’s Ai Miyazato and Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chin-Huei were both locked in also the new low record total of 207 for the individual title. In the playoff, Hung Chin-Huei clinched the individual title after she birdied the first play-off hole. It took two more holes for Miyazato to redeem herself and helped Japan team win the Cup for the 6th time from Korea.
The 25th Queen Sirikit Cup which was the silver anniversary of the championship was celebrated in Korea in 2003 and Singapore rejoined the tournament after 7 years’ withdrawal. Korea team braved the bad weather conditions and benefited from home advantage to win the 8th title by a wide margin from defending champion Japan.
When the 26th edition was hosted by China for the second time in 2004, the R&A came forward to give financial grant to help subsidize the teams’ accommodation expenses. The recognition given by the R&A was based on the achievements of the Queen Sirikit Cup Championship in promoting the standard of ladies golf in the Asia-Pacific region and recommendation made by the Executive Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), Dato Thomas M.L. Lee of Malaysia.
During the championship, the Wuyi Forum was conducted to gather ideas and information from member associations on the direction of ladies golf in the region. It was agreed by all concerned that professional golf would continue to play a significant role in the promotion of amateur golf. It would not only inspire the players to improve their skills, but also generate some income for the associations’ development program. Member associations were informed about the newly launched Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) that could provide a great learning experience for the top amateurs and arrangement was initiated by the Queen Sirikit Cup’s Secretariat to have the individual winner invited to play in one event each year with some subsidy from the Secretariat.
Korea again won the 26th Queen Sirikit Cup in China for the 9th time with the scores of 432 while host China came second at 434 and Thailand finished her best since 1982 in 3rd place at 439.
The 28th Queen Sirikit Cup went back to Royal Adelaide Golf Club in Australia in 2006. It was played under difficult conditions for most teams due to changing weather pattern. However, the least affected teams, defending champion Chinese Taipei and New Zealand, found their scores tied and a playoff was needed. It was a very steady performance by the defending champion Chinese Taipei team that won the playoff on the first hole, while the New Zealand team showed their fighting spirit until the final putt.
In 2007 the championship was hosted by the Philippines at The Country Club, Laguna. It was the first time that teams from all 14 member countries were represented. Again, it was the unbeatable team from Korea that led the field from start to finish with the scores of 414. This became the lowest team score ever recorded so far in the history of the Queen Sirikit Cup. At the close of the 3rd decade, Korea emerged the leading team with a record of 10 wins to her credit. Australia had 8 wins, Japan 6, New Zealand 3 and Chinese Taipei 2 wins.
The 30th anniversary of the Queen Sirikit Cup was kindly hosted by Japan Golf Association during May 28-30, 2008 for the 3rd time. Even with the short preparation time due to unexpected change of venue from Sri Lanka in view of political unrest, all efforts were made to ensure the Cup’s traditional objectives in promoting friendship, sportsmanship, as well as the high standard of the game by the host Japan. The R&A also came forward to offer its subsidy to cover the teams’ accommodation expenses in full. Korea won her 11th title here with the new record of 410 while her player, Jung-Eun Han also set a new low record of 64-70-66 (200) to win the individual title.
During the last 3 decades of the Queen Sirikit Cup, many former national players have turned professional and several of them are now world-class players on the various Tours. The Ladies Asian Golf Tour has also been set up with the objective to provide a path for the top amateurs from the Queen Sirikit Cup to move forward into their professional career. It is interesting to compare the winning scores from the first two decades to last year’s result as the scores kept going down each year. In the inaugural championship the winning team’s score was 459, in the 10th championship – 446, in the 20th championship – 433 and in the 30th championship – 410. The same improvement could be seen for the individual winners. It was 229 in the inaugural championship, 221 in the 10th tournament, 216 in the 20th championship and 200 in the 30th edition.
THE FOURTH DECADE (2009-2018)
The beginning of the 4th decade for the Asia-Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup was celebrated in Bali, Indonesia from April 1-3, 2009. Hosted by Indonesia Golf Association, this was the 3rd occasion that the Championship returned to Indonesia since 1994 when the 16th Queen Sirikit Cup was played at Damai Indah Golf & Country Club in Jakarta and won by Korea with the score of 428. The first time Indonesia hosted the 2nd Queen Sirikit Cup was in 1980 at Jakarta Golf Club and Australia sent her team for the first time to challenge Japan whose team won the inaugural tournament in Thailand in 1979 at Navatanee Golf Course. Japan succeeded in retaining the cup with the score of 449—ten strokes lower than the result of the first event in Thailand.
When the 16th championship was played in Indonesia in 1994, Korea won the Cup for the 4th time and went on to win the 5th and 6th titles consecutively in the following years. It is interesting to note that when the tournament returned to Indonesia that year, Korea was also the defending champion team, having won 11 titles by the end of the 3rd decade the year before in Japan. The team also recorded the lowest winning team score of 410, or -34 under par, while her 15-year old player, Jung-Eun Han produced exceptional scores of 66-70-66 (200), or -22 under par to win the individual title. These results became the lowest records for the Championship in its 30 years’ history.
The 31st Queen Sirikit Cup hosted by Indonesia Golf Association was staged at Nirawana Bali Golf Club during April 1-3, 2009 and participated by 12 teams with the absences of Singapore and Sri Lanka. The host made extra efforts to give the teams and their supporters a good experience in witnessing Balinese cultural performances during the opening ceremony. The scenic layout of the golf course and the beautiful ocean backdrop also made the beginning of the 4th decade tournament another memorable occasion. The defending champion Korea once again proved her team’s undefeatable skills to win the cup with the scores of 416, followed 10 strokes away by Chinese Taipei at 426 and Japan at 435. Korea’s best player, Jang Ha-Na, won the individual title with her results of 67-68-72 (207). The lowest records of 410 by Korean team and 200 made by Jung-Eun Han the year before in Japan remained unbroken.
In 2010 New Zealand took her 3rd turn to host the 32nd Championship during April 7-9, 2010, at Hamilton Golf Course, which is the oldest golf course in New Zealand with natural undulating layout. Twelve teams except Indonesia and Sri Lanka were present. Korea came with a newcomer and strong player in Hyo Joo Kim who shot 72-69-65 (206) to help the team retain the title with the scores of 420, with the home team New Zealand coming in 2nd place at 427 and Australia at 430.
The 33rd Queen Sirikit Cup Championship returned to India in 2011 for its 3rd hosting at Delhi Golf Club from March 9-11 with all 14 members present. The R&A was also represented by Mr. Martin Yates, who updated the members on the introduction of Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking and the inclusion of golf in the Olympic in 2016. The Queen Sirikit Cup Championship’s results would be eligible for inclusion in this ranking as from this year onwards.
Indian Golf Union, together with its Ladies’ Golf Section and Delhi Golf Club, did a magnificent preparation to ensure the success of the tournament. Teamwise it was not possible to catch up with the defending champion Korea who scored a total of 425 for a 4-stroke victory over second-place Philippines (429) and China (441). However, the individual match proved exciting to watch the competitiveness displayed by golfers from other teams like Philippines and India. Dottie Ardina of Philippines did well to win the individual title with her 71-70-70 (211) and Delhi Golf Club once again proved to be a difficult course to conquer even by Korean players. The previous record made by Edwina Kennedy of Australia here in 1986 was 221.
Over the years the standard of play has improved to a great extent as evidently shown by players from Korea, Japan and Chinese Taipei who went on to dominate the world’s professional golf for ladies these days.
To sum up the list of past champion teams over the 3 decades since 1979: Korea has won 14 times, Australia 8 times, Japan 6 times, New Zealand 3 times and Chinese Taipei twice. With more and more junior golfers taking serious interest in the game, it is hopeful that the new decade can produce new champion teams from other member countries to join the list of only 5 countries that have won the Queen Sirikit Cup so far. The fact that the R&A continues to render its financial support to the Championship also guarantees that the future of the Asia-Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship can reach its next milestone in a firm footing.
It is gratifying to note that participation in this annual championship has been given full support from member associations. Many former team players have turned professional and are now showing great performances on the various Tours in the world of ladies golf. Among them are Shin Ji-Yai, Park Hee Yong and Mi Jung Hur from Korea, Shinobu Moromizato and Ai Miyazato from Japan, Hung Chin-Huei and Tseng Ya-Ni from Chinese Taipei. Indonesia also has its first professional now playing on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour, i.e., former national team player, Lidya Ivana Jaya, while Thailand now has more than 30 professionals playing on the LET, LAGT, the Future Tours, as well as the LPGA.
The 34th Queen Sirikit Cup in Singapore - 2012
In 2012 Singapore Ladies Golf Association took the second turn to host the 34th Queen Sirikit Cup at Tanah Merah Country Club. The first time Singapore played host was at the 5th Championship in 1983 and eventually pulled out of the Championship for 7 years during 1996-2002. Thirteen members took part with the absence of Sri Lanka. Very promising Korean player, Hyo-Joo Kim stole the limelight with her low scores of 69-65-70 (204) to carry Korean team to their 15th victory. Korea won with a wide gap (413) from runner-up team New Zealand (438) with Australia finishing in 3rd place at 440. Apart from the very well organized tournament run by Singapore Ladies Golf Association, a new slogan created by the host association, was unanimously adopted for future Championships to be known as “The Queen Sirikit Cup—Where Legends Are Born”.
The 35th Queen Sirikit Cup in Taiwan - 2013
The 35th Queen Sirikit Cup went to Taiwan the following year to be hosted by Chinese Taipei Golf Association at Sunrise Golf & Country Club during April 17-19, 2013. It was her second hosting since the team joined the Queen Sirikit Cup membership at the 20th anniversary in India in 1998. The first hosting was in 2000 at Lin Kou International Golf & Country Club when 11 teams were represented and the Cup was won by Australia for the 7th time. After a long interval of 13 years since its first hosting, 11 teams plus 21 delegates were treated to a most impressive event put up by the host and the management of Sunrise Golf & Country Club. With all facilities, including accommodation, on the course, it was the most enjoyable occasion for all participants and supporters. On the tournament side, Sunrise Golf & Country Club proved to be a testing venue due to its hilly layout and windy condition.
The first round saw Japan and Thailand teams tied in the first place with the score of 145. Defending champion Korea lay in 3rd place with 147, while Australia and host Chinese Taipei tied in 4th place at 148. Japan’s Haruka Morita made the lowest score of 70 on the first day. On the second round, Australia moved up to 289 to lead Japan and Thailand by one stroke at 290. Korea and Chinese Taipei followed at 293 and 295. The second day’s lowest score of 69 belonged to Su Hyun Oh of Australia.
Very foggy weather on the final round forced a delay of over 3 hours. After the fog cleared the course, strong wind prevailed throughout, making playing conditions extremely tough for players. At the end of the final round, Australia team emerged the new Champion with the total scores of 437, followed by Japan in second place at 438 and Thailand in 3rd place at 439.
In the individual championship, Supamas Sangchan of Thailand team finished in top place with the scores 75-70-69 (214), followed by Su-Hyun Oh of Australia at 74-69-74 (217) and Gyeol Park of Korea at 72-71-75 (218). It turned out to be the 9th win for Australia after an 11-year interval. Australia also won her 7th title here in 2000. Thailand recorded her first individual championship title at this 35th Queen Sirikit Cup. Supamas Sangchan was subsequently invited to play in the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship the following October as a bonus from Mr. Tien-Ya Hsu, Chairman of Sunrise Golf & Country Club.
Among the delegates who attended the 35th Queen Sirikit Cup were Mr. Dominic Wall from The R&A, Mrs. Patsy Hankins, IGF’s Womens Chairman and Mrs. Champika Sayal, Secretary-General of Womens Golf Association of India, along with golf executives/administrators from member associations.
The 36th Queen Sirikit Cup in Malaysia - 2014
The 36th Queen Sirikit Cup Championship was staged in Malaysia during April 9-11, 2014, at Saujana Golf & Country Club. It was the 3rd hosting by Malaysian Ladies Golf Association since the 7th event in 1985 at Royal Selangor Golf Club and the 24th edition in 2002 at A Famosa Resort. All 13 teams were represented and the new condition of play for usage of Distance Measuring Device (DMD) without slope rating was approved for future tournaments, together with yardage book. The Team Captains’ meeting also endorsed and supported the proposed Europe vs Asia-Pacific Ladies Team Championship to be held concurrently every two years with the men’s Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy. In addition, a proposed New Tour for Asia-Pacific as a joint venture with IMG was discussed at the meeting.
Tournament-wise, Korea successfully defended the title and recaptured the 16th Queen Sirikit Cup title with the combined scores of 143+143+139 (425). China and Philippines were tied with the same total of 431, but on countback, China was declared the first runner-up team.
In the individual championship, China’s Shi Yuting was congratulated for her winning scores of 70+68+71 (209) at -7. There were ties in second place at 211 between Ssu-Chia Cheng of Chinese Taipei and Korean Lee So-Young. However, on countback, Ssu-Chia Cheng was declared the first runner-up for her scores of 75+67+69. It was of interest to see new winners from different teams this year - a sign that more potential good players were representing their teams and the field was becoming more competitive year by year.
The 36th Championship in Malaysia was a great venue for the reunion of all golfing officials. The IGF’s Womens Chairman, Mrs. Patsy Hankins, The R&A’s Asia-Pacific Director, Mr. Dominic Wall, Mrs. Margaret Hamilton, IGF’s Administrative Committee member, Mrs. Champika Sayal, WGAI’s Secretary-General, and many Presidents and CEO’s from member associations were present at Saujana Golf & Country Club to offer their advices and guidances for ladies golf development and to support their teams.
The 37th Queen Sirikit Cup in Hong Kong - 2015
Hong Kong Golf Association hosted the 37th edition at Hong Kong Golf Club during May 20-22, 2015 with full attendance from 13 member countries. The unwelcome bad weather with heavy rains and thunders resulted in long delay of play in the first round and several groups had to finish their game the next morning. However the tournament managed to complete its 54-holes format with the necessary Local Rules of preferred lies in effect.
On the first round, home team Hong Kong led the field with a combines best two scores of 139 from Isabella Leung (69) and Tiffany Chan (70). Korea was second at 140, followed by Thailand at 144. In the second round, Korea moved up to top position with a total of 281 and Hong Kong and Philippines tied in second place at 290. In the final round, Park Hyun Khung shot 69 to secure her Korean team’s winning score of 422. Philippines finished as first runner-up with a total of 436 while New Zealand came strongly on the last round with Julianne Alvarez’s score of 69 to lift the team into 3rd position at 437.
In the Individual competition, the lowest score on the first day of 69 was made by Isabella Leung of Hong Kong, second day at 67 by Japan’s Minami Hiruta and similar 69’s were made on the final round by Korean Park Hyun Kyung and New Zealand’s Julianne Alvarez. The overall winner for 3 rounds was Park Hyun Khung (70+70+69 =209), lst runner-up Jang Eun Soo (70+71+72=213), both from Korea and 2nd runner-up Filipino Princess Mary Superal (73+69+73 = 215).
Although the weather conditions were not ideal for the host to carry out official functions as planned, the 37th Championship could be considered a high-profile event as we welcomed many important guests and delegates from many golfing bodies. For the first time in the Queen Sirikit Cup’s history, the new Captain from The R&A, Mr. George Macgregor and his wife Chrissie, Dr. David Cherry, APGC’s Chairman and Mr. K.J. Lee, APGC’s Hon. Secretary, were invited to attend the Team Captains’ meeting and join in the various events. Other guests included Mrs. Patsy Hankins from the IGF, Mr. Dominic Wall from The R&A.
The highlights from this year included:
- The decision for the Queen Sirikit Cup Championship to be affiliated with the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation and the opportunity for the existing ladies’ golf associations to become a full member of the APGC.
- Admission of Myanmar Golf Federation as the 14th member of the Queen Sirikit Cup.
- The launching of a new ladies’ team match between Europe and Asia-Pacific during April 20-22, 2016 to have a trophy donated by Ms. Rae-Vadee T. Suwan.
- Forming of a Working Committee for the proposed new Asia-Pacific Ladies’ Tour.
The 38th Queen Sirikit Cup in Korea - 2016
Korea Golf Association organized the 38th Queen Sirikit Cup during April 27-29, 2016 at Ora Country Club on Jeju Island, Korea. Full 14 member countries took part, including Myanmar who sent in her team for the first time.
The R&A was represented by Mr. Dominic Wall and Mr. Nick Shan. The APGC was represented by Mr. K.J. Lee, Mr. Keisuke Muratsu and Ms. Nobuko Hirayama. The Presidents of the four ladies’ golf associations, i.e., Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines were also present. The Thailand Ambassador was the guest of honor at the Prize Presentation as well.
This event was considered the first occasion that the Queen Sirikit Cup was held in affiliation with the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation. It was the 3rd hosting by Korea Golf Association.
Although overall preparations were well organized, the weather conditions were out of control and play had to be suspended for hours on the second round, giving most players more difficult playing conditions to complete their game. Nevertheless the home team Korea could overcome all odds and ran away with the total scores of 410. Australia came second with 433 over the countback with Philippines who returned a similar total of 433.
In the Individual Championship, all Korean players finished well to take the top 3 positions, i.e., Park Hyun-kyung 69+69+70 (208), Choi Hye-jin 71+65+73 (209) and Lee Gayoung 75+69+66 (210).
The 39th Queen Sirikit Cup in China - 2017
China Golf Association, through Shenzhen Miramar Sports Ltd., played host to the 39th edition of the Queen Sirikit Cup during May 11-13, 2017 at Shuangshan Golf Course in Jiangsu, China. Thirteen teams took part with the absence of Myanmar team.
China hosted the Championship twice before in the 14th edition in 1992 at Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Club and 26th Queen Sirikit Cup in 2004 at Wu Yi Fountain Palm Golf Club in Jiangmen, where China team did well to win 2nd place. Although the facilities at Shuangshan Golf Course proved to be an ideal venue, its location and access from overseas made it less attractive in term of long travelling time for the teams. Nevertheless once all the teams reached the tournament venue, no more inconvenience was experienced as the hotel was nearby and the host made sure everybody would be happy.
Weather-wise, some light rain was experienced only in the morning of the final round, while strong winds prevailed on the first round, resulting in only one sub-par score of 71 by Korea’s So-mi Lee that day. Compared to 13 sub-par scores returned on the second round when the weather was near perfect for golf, two players, Korea’s Hye-jin Choi and Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Sang Hou, returned the lowest score of 67. The final round saw even lower score of 65 made by two players, China’s Liu Wenbo and Philippines’ Yuka E Saso.
At the end of the 3rd round, two players finished tied at -7 (209) and a playoff was needed to decide the individual winner between Hye-jin Choi and Liu Wenbo. The 18th hole, Par 5 was selected for the playoff. Liu Wenbo pulled her shot to the left off the fairway and had to chip out from under the tree which caused her a bogey 6, while Hye-jin Choi played safe for a regulation par 5 to win the first place with the scores of 73+67+69 (209). Liu Wenbo finished with the same total with the scores of 73+71+65 (209), while Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand placed 3rd with her scores of 75+68+68 (211). Liu Wenbo also made another highlight when she hit a Hole-in-One on No. 2, Par-3, 158 yds. It gave her a chance to reach the playoff.
On the team event, Korea led from the first round with the combined scores of 144, followed by Japan and China at 146. In the second round, Korea moved away to be at -8 (280), Japan at -3 (285) and China at 288. The final round showed the superb performance by defending champion team Korea, when the players finished their rounds and brought the team’s total scores to -12 (420), while China displayed commendable game to finish first runner-up with -9 (423). Japan returned -7 (425) to win the 3rd place.
Tournament-wise, the 39th Championship was well-conducted with the support from the APGC’s referee team and staff from Miramar Sports Ltd. and Shuangshan Golf Club. The R&A who provided accommodation support for the teams was represented by Mr. Dominic Wall, Director for Asia-Pacific, while the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation’s Vice Chairman, Kei Muratsu and Board members Nicki Hirayama, Dato Rabeahtul Abbas and Rae-Vadee T. Suwan were all present to oversee the smooth operation of the 39th Queen Sirikit Cup till its conclusion.
The 40th Anniversary of the Queen Sirikit Cup in Thailand - 2018
The Asia-Pacific Amateur Ladies Golf Team Championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup went back to celebrate the 40th Anniversary during May 9-11, 2018 at Thana City Country Club on the outskirt of Bangkok, Thailand. It was the 5th occasion that the Cup was hosted by Thailand Ladies Golf Association after its inception in 1979 at Navatanee Golf Course where the 1975 World Cup was held.
The 40th Queen Sirikit Cup in Thailand was represented in full by all 14 teams. The tournament yardage used was 6,343 yds./5,799 m. long, with the Course Rating of 76.8 and Slope Rating of 135 for Par 72 at Thana City Country Club, originally designed by Greg Norman. In the first round, defending Champion team Korea led the field with two combined scores of 138, followed by Japan and China at 139. Japan’s Yuna Nishimura made the lowest score of 33-34 (67), while 10 players returned sub-par scores on the opening day.
On the second round, Philippines moved up to the top with the exceptional score made by Yuka Saso who shot 35-31 (66) and lifted the team’s scores to 141+136 (277), while Japan held on to second place with 139+139 (278). Korea and Thailand tied in 3rd place at 279. Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul played a fantastic round of -7 (65) to return the lowest score on the second round.
In the final round Korea played consistent game to regain the top position, while home team Thailand, through Atthaya Thitikul also moved up to challenge Korea with her lowest score in the field of 67. Both Korea and Thailand teams finished with the same scores of -15 under at 417. However, due to a newly approved decision at the Team Captains’ meeting before the tournament started, to count the 3rd player’s score in case of ties for the team championship, Korea was declared the winner as Heejeong Lim returned a 72 to beat Thai player, Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, who finished at 73. Nevertheless, Atthaya Thitikul produced the lowest score for the final round as well at 67.
The top 3 team placings were: 1. Korea (417)* , 2. Thailand (417), 3. Japan (418)
The top 3 individual placings were: (1) Atthaya Thitikul (Thailand) 71-65-67 (203), (2) Yuna Nishimura (Japan) 67-69-70 (206), and (3) Yuka Saso (Philippines) 69-66-72 (207).
Statistic-wise, Korea team has gathered 20 wins out of the 40 events held, Australia won 9 titles, Japan won 6 cups, New Zealand won 3 times and Chinese-Taipei captured the title twice.
The APGC’s Board members who were present included Taimur Amin, K.J. Lee, Nobuko Hirayama, Dato Rabeahtul Abbas and Rae-Vadee T. Suwan. Nick Shan represented The R&A and served as the Tournament Director. The 40th edition of the Championship also served as a memorable reunion for many past Presidents and golf officials from member countries who had played important roles in hosting the tournaments in their respective countries. It was an occasion to reflect on how far ladies’ golf has developed since the day the Queen Sirikit Cup was launched 40 years ago in 1979 and the potential of Asian players in the new decade to come.
The 41st Queen Sirikit Cup in Australia - 2019
The 41st edition of the Championship is being hosted by Golf Australia at the Glenelg Golf Club, Adelaide, South Australia during May 6-8, 2019. This would be the 4th occasion that Australia takes her turn since the 6th championship in 1984, the 15th Cup in 1993 and 28th Cup in 2006.
Updated : January 2019
THE WOMEN'S SPIRIT
.....When the wind is blowing through the air,
Our feelins seem to fly,
And we know it’s time for us to share,
And the women's spirit will rise.
.....Now the flags are flying so high above,
So wonderful, our dreams,
Together all the teams will join,
In the true game of all.
.....The bright shiny days that we are waiting for,
Holding all your breath, we're on our way,
Every time & time, the best we've tried you know,
All the women's spirit is here, to swing our joy.
.....Now the wind is blowing through the air,
Our flags will move the sky,
*And our hearts are flying high and high,
This is women's spirit,
This is our spirit,
And the spirit, so high and fine.
Music by: Jirapan Ansvananda
Lyrics: Sinnapa Sarasas
All rights reserved by: Thailand Ladies Golf Association 1996
MEMORIES & IMPRESSIONS
Memories from Mrs. Patricia Bridges, OBE
Chairman, Womens Division
World Amateur Golf Council 1994-2000 (now International Golf Federation)
President, WGA for 3 terms - 1970-1973, 1976-1979, 1992-1994
Now Life Member, Golf Australia
It has been my great privilege to be part of the Queen Sirikit Cup activities on the occasions the Championship has been played in Australia – at Kooralbyn, Queensland in 1984; The Vines, Western Australia in 1993 and Royal Adelaide, South Australia in 2006.
The host club always has a tremendous commitment to such an event and added pleasure was apparent in 1984 and 1993 when teams were accommodated in splendid facilities “on site” in condominiums at Kooralbyn and The Vines.
As part of her wonderful contribution to golf, whether in relation to professional events or amateur championships, Rae-Vadee T. Suwan has been the outstanding administration in the Asia-Pacific area, specially as a driving force to establish the Queen Sirikit Cup in 1979. The concept of fostering friendship and to encourage the improving standards of golf for women in the area has been wonderfully successful.
Although some teams have dominated competition, the spirit of friendship and understanding developed between players or all standards have been factors of benefit to everyone, including administrators at venue nations, as well as officials traveling with teams.
In my capacity of a long association with international and Australian golf, I have had the unique opportunity of being part of the Queen Sirikit Cup since its inception.
Rae-Vadee T. Suwan’s efforts to establish a website for the event is extremely vital, to ensure records reflect the history of the Queen Sirikit Cup and the aesthetic value which the competition brings to life in the region.