Golf: Sihwan Kim triumphs at Trust Golf Asian Mixed Stableford Challenge in Pattaya


  Sihwan Kim triumphed in the Trust Golf Asian Mixed Stableford Challenge today on the Waterside Course at Siam Country Club to secure his second Asian Tour title in the space of six weeks and cement his position at the top of the Tour’s Order of Merit.

The American won the US$750,000 tournament – which was the Asian Tour’s first-ever Modified Stableford scoring event and was jointly sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour (LET) – with a total of 49 points.

Rising Swedish star Maja Stark came home in second on 47 points; Budsabakorn Sukapan from Thailand was third with 42 points, and Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai finished fourth on 41 points.

Sihwan Kim led after the first round with a 62 that gave him 22 points before unexpectedly crashing to a 76 on day two worth minus two points, but he started today’s round with an eight-point advantage thanks to an impressive 61 on Friday.

However, he was made to work hard all day by the chasing pack and had his lead cut to two points ahead of playing partner Stark at the turn, and three from Phachara and Korean Joohyung Kim.

And a bogey on 13 saw him hold a two-point lead over Phachara with five holes to go before a weather delay interrupted play at 1.17 pm, which lasted one hour and twenty minutes.

But the break proved to be decisive and worked very much in the American’s favor as he made three birdies in a row immediately after the restart from 14 onwards giving him a seven-point lead over Stark.

He appeared to be cruising to victory holding a seven-point lead playing the par-five 18 but, to the disbelief of everyone, he pushed his three-wood tee shot into the trees on the right. He found his ball but had to return to replay the tee shot. It meant Stark had an outside chance of catching the American if she made an eagle, worth five points, but in the end, Sihwan Kim made a double, to card a 70 and seven points, while Stark got a birdie, for a 66 and 13 points.

Sihwan Kim earned a cheque for US$135,000, while Stark received US$82,500.

“Obviously any win is a hard win. With Phachara just going strong at the beginning that put extra pressure on me but after the restart, I think that cooled Phachara off and made me hot,” said Sihwan Kim.

“I just said on 18 all I need to do is make par. I was seven points ahead, all I needed to do was get it into play and I thought the wind was more into but I did kind of fan it right and I didn’t think it was going to go that far into the bushes and after that, I said I just should have hit driver anyway.”

His rollercoaster day was made up of six birdies, two bogeys, and one double.

He added: “This is the first time I had a 10 under and an 11 under in a tournament and my putting has just been phenomenal, that’s pretty much what got me through it, and those putts were not short either. The putts in 14 and 16 were pretty lengthy ones, I am really confident in my putting right now.”

At the beginning of last month, the 33-year-old had not won a title since turning professional in 2011 but claimed International Series Thailand and followed that up this week with another impressive victory that validated years of patience and persistence.

Prior to winning the International Series Thailand Sihwan Kim had recorded eight top-four results on the Asian Tour since 2018.

That included a fine run of form when the Asian Tour restarted at the end of last year: he was joint fourth at the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship, fourth in the SMBC Singapore Open, and second in the Royal’s Cup, also in Thailand.

Sihwan Kim holds his winning trophy

On each of those attempts he was paired in the final group on Sunday, while when he won last month he was in the penultimate group, so today’s victory allowed him to overcome any concerns he could not win from the front.

For Stark, it was yet another fine performance for a 22-year-old who won three times in her rookie season last year.

“I didn’t see anyone’s tee shot on 18 so I was very surprised when he was driven back and it made me think ‘ooh it could happen, but sadly I think I had a little bit too much adrenaline. It is not often I hit a hybrid 230m into the wind, so I think a bit too much adrenaline with that one. The chip was fine, but I should have left it past the hole,” said Stark.

“I’m happy with my game. My putting could have been a lot better, and my irons today weren’t very good, but I think I shot -6, and -20 is by far my best score in a four-round tournament. I’m happy with it. I feel like I have finally come back from winter golf and it being really cold and playing on even par is a fantastic score with those conditions, but I am very happy to get into the birdie and eagle mindset.”

Today’s round brought to an end a memorable and groundbreaking two weeks of mixed golf events jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and LET.

Fifteen-year-old Ratchanon Chantananuwat from Thailand claimed the US$750,000 Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup last week becoming the youngest male player to win on one of the game’s major Tours.

The Asian Tour heads to the 41st GS Caltex Maekyung Open in two weeks’ time at Namseoul Country Club in Korea, from May 5–8 – one of the region’s most established and prestigious tournaments not played on the Asian Tour for the past two years because of the pandemic.

About Trust Golf

An incredibly successful enterprise in Thailand, Trust Golf advocates utilizing innovation and technology as it aims to develop the next generation of Thai golf professionals. Employing technology, and education with a focus on mental and physical health, founder Dr. Prin Singhanart has devised a program that aims to support Thailand’s next generation of golfers through to the professional ranks.

Trust Golf supports all aspects of the game, including the Trust Golf Tour, juniors, players, and caddies, with ambitious plans to open the first Trust University in Thailand to further the education of Thailand’s golfers with the intention to grow their offering around the world. With technology at the heart of Trust Golf’s philosophy, the LET and Asian Tour mixed Strokeplay and Stableford events will allow Dr. Prin to share her philosophy and vision for Trust Golf globally, as well giving her students the chance to be part of something bigger with the partnership offering the opportunity for her elite students to gain a place in the star-studded tournament fields.

About the Ladies European Tours (LET)

The LET inspires women and girls to pursue their passion and realize their potential through the game of golf.

At our core, we aim to build and deliver an extensive competitive schedule of events to enable our strong, energetic, proud, and confident players to compete at the highest level, pursue their dreams, and lead by example.

Our diverse and multicultural membership of 362 professional golfers represents as many as 36 countries. We are a global tour with roots in Europe.

We aim to entertain and excite, but also to enhance health and quality of life, as responsible, committed, and respectful partners.

Inspiring – our players are inspiring role models to follow and encourage others to pursue their own dreams.

Passionate – we are driven by a passion to perform to our full potential and get better every day. It’s not just about the money or the glory, but a true love for the game.

Committed – we are fiercely committed to continuous improvement and recognize the grit that it takes to achieve long-term goals.

2022 marks the 44th season of golf tournaments since the professional tour was founded in 1978 and the third edition of the Race to Costa Del Sol. This year’s schedule includes 33 events in 21 different countries and a record-breaking prize fund of €24.5 million.

The LET Access Series is the official development tour of the LET, formed to give players an opportunity to compete and progress onto the LET and achieve their dreams in professional golf.

About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of professional golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership in the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognized pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. The Tour is officially recognized by the Official World Golf Ranking and provides its events with valuable ranking points for participants to be recognized on the world stage. It is also an affiliate of The R&A. Tour Partners including Rolex (Timekeeper), Habitat for Humanity (Sustainable Development Partner), Titleist (Web Partner), and FootJoy (Tour Supplier). The corporate headquarters of the Asian Tour is based in Sentosa, which is the home of Asian Golf while Sentosa Golf Club is part of an exclusive network of properties under the Asian Tour Destinations. The Tour also has an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: