Hua Hin, Thailand, January 15: Sweden’s Johan Edfors is having good vibes ahead of this week’s US$1 million King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin after he won the par-three contest on Tuesday.
His victory at the fun par-three competition, modelled after a similar tradition at the Masters Tournament, was a timely boost for Edfors as he prepares for his title challenge at the King’s Cup, which will be played at the majestic Black Mountain Golf Club.
Edfors, who is sponsored by Black Mountain, said: “It’s definitely a great way to start the week having won the par-three contest. I hit some really nice shots out there despite the strong winds. It’s a sign of good things to come. I had quite a long break so it’s good to have the game back in shape.
“It’s always nice to come back to play in Asia. I’ve a second home here in Black Mountain and I’m actually thinking of playing a lot more in Asia now,” added the 38-year-old Swede.
Edfors might have come a long way from Sweden but he has found a home-away-from-home at Black Mountain where he owns a villa that overlooks the 11th hole.
While it was all fun and laughter at the informal social event where contestants played nine holes against the stunning backdrop at Black Mountain Golf Club, the quality of the players on display was enough for the Swede to know his title ambitions will be put to a stern test.
“The standards have gone up dramatically over the last couple of years. There are so many young ones coming up and the old guys never seem to fade away either. The competition is getting tougher as there are so many good players over here now,” said Edfors, who lifted his second Asian Tour title after a splendid wire-to-wire triumph at the Black Mountain Masters in 2009.
Thailand’s 18-year-old boy wonder Jazz Janewattananond, who regularly practices at Black Mountain, has also showed his star credentials after a solid year in 2013.
Jazz, who hogs the limelight not only from the exploits on the course but also his loud and attention-grabbing apparel, produced impressive back-to-back top-10s in the Philippines and Indonesia late last year.
‘The toughest part of playing at Black Mountain is playing against the strong wind. Everyone has a chance to win here. You don’t really have a home advantage here because it is so windy here,” said Jazz, who inked his place in the history books as the youngest to make the cut at the 2010 Asian Tour International in Bangkok.
For the first time ever, the King’s Cup will be broadcast live, over four rounds on the Asian Tour’s global television platform which reaches over 180 countries and 640 million homes, ensuring extensive worldwide exposure for the popular beach resort town of Hua Hin, sponsors, and the Kingdom of Thailand itself.