The announcement of renowned amateurs being added to Team Thailand and Team Japan has further underlined the quality and uniqueness of the inaugural Amata Friendship Cup, which will be the first event anywhere in the world to see male and female professionals and male and female amateurs compete alongside each other.
With less than two months before the unique event tees off at Amata Spring Country Club, Chonburi, Thailand, both teams have added amateur players with international credentials to their starting line-ups.
For Thailand, amateur Sadom Kaewkanjana joins a stellar line-up that includes the likes of Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thongchai Jaidee and Ariya Jutanugarn. Although still an amateur, Kaewkanjana has already tasted success on the professional stage, having won the All Thailand Tour’s Pattaya Open last October.
The youngster, who also who recorded impressive rounds of 66 and 65 at the 2018 World Amateur Championship, the Eisenhower Trophy, has reached a career high of 12 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and Captain Virada, who also boasted a sterling amateur career, is confident he will relish the challenge of playing against his professional counterparts.
“We are delighted to add Sadom to the Team Thailand line-up,” commented Virada. “Sadom has been flying the flag for our male professionals around the world in recent months, and I have no doubt that he will rise to the challenge, playing against some of the biggest names in Thai, and world, golf.”
For Team Japan, Yuto Katsuragawa has been confirmed as the male amateur, playing alongside global stars such as Satoshi Kodaira and Nasa Hataoka. Like Kaekwanjana, 20-year-old Katsuragawa already boasts international experience having competed in the Eisenhower Trophy and Asia-Pacific Amateur, and has tasted success multiple times in 2018.
Kaekwanjana and Katsuragawa join Atthaya Thitikul and Yuri Yoshida as the amateurs in their Team line-ups. Thitikul, despite being an amateur, is set to be a key figure for Team Thailand, having already won on the Ladies European Tour, at the LET Thailand Championship, and claiming the inaugural Women’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship earlier this year.
Her Japanese counterpart, Yoshida, is also no stranger to victory, having won the 2018 Junior Championship ad 2018 Japanese Women’s Championship. She’s also no stranger to the professional game, having competed alongside stars of the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour at the ISPS Handa Australian Open, where she won low amateur honours.
Tickets for the event are now on sale, with a series of ‘Early Bird’ promotions available, and complimentary access for Under-16’s alongside at least one paying adult.
Who would you play alongside our amateur stars? We would love to hear your views! Join in the conversation on social using #AFC2018 and #StrongerTogether.