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Galaxy of Champions Set to Shine in Johnnie Walker Classic

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Bangkok--Jan 23--Aziam Burson-Marsteller

A galaxy of champions from on The European Tour   will   converge on Alpine Golf Club in Bangkok, Thailand, next week for   the   2004   JOHNNIE   WALKER   CLASSIC, which is tri-sanctioned by the European,   Australasian and Asian Tours, and is presented in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand.   South Africa s Ernie Els, fresh from   his   dramatic play-off victory in the Sony Open in Hawaii, defends his   crown   in   a   world   class field including two of last year s Major Champions, Ben Curtis and Shaun Micheel.

Els   is   one   of five winners of the Volvo Order of Merit playing in the JOHNNIE   WALKER CLASSICohnnie   Walker   Classic, which returns to Alpine Golf   Club   for   the second time, three years after Tiger Woods captured the title in his mother s native country.

Curtis,   the reigning Open Golf Champion, makes his debut in the JOHNNIE WALKER   CLASSICohnnie   Walker Classic, having taken up Membership in The European   Tour for 2004. His fellow American, Shaun Micheel, the 2003 US PGA   Champion, is   also   making his debut in the JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC ohnnie Walker Classic but is more familiar with Asia, having played herewhere he played on a regular basis earlier in his career.

The   quality   of   the   field   is deeply impressive, with Curtis, Els and Micheel   being   joined   in   the line-up by six-time Major Champion, Nick Faldo of England, and Welshman Ian Woosnam, the 1991 Masters Tournament winner.

Faldo   and   Woosnam are both past winners of the JOHNNIE WALKER CLASSIC. ohnnie Walker Classic Faldo claimed the title in Singapore in 1993 while Woosnam s   victory in 1996   also   came in Singapore at the Tanah Merah Country Club.

A   total   of   20   winners   from   TThe   2003   European Tour International Schedule   will   assemble in Bangkok, including   South   African Trevor Immelman,   who   just   last   Sundayon Sunday successfully defended made a successful   defence of his South African Airways Open title on home soil at the Erinvale Golf Club in the Western Cape.

Also   among   that   impressive   list   of   past   winners are England s Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, both two-time winners in 2003, and Adam Scott, the   young   Australian   who won on The European Tour and the US PGA Tour last   year. Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, the seven-time Volvo Order of Merit   winner,   continues   his early season campaign while his Ryder Cupteam-mate, Thomas Bj๖rn of Denmark, makes his seasonal debut.

A   number   of   top   players   on   the   Asian   PGA   Tour will also line up alongside   the   European and American stars. Indians Jyoti Randhawa, the 2002   Asian Order of Merit winner, and Amandeep Johl, Singapore s Mardan Mamat,   Taiwan s Tsai Chi-huang and Lin Ken-chi, Zhang Lian-wei of China and Malaysian Danny Chia will all be hoping to shine in what is regarded as Asia s richest and most prestigious premier golf event.

Hosts,   Thailand,   will also be well represented with seven pros joining the   field   including   the country s number one player Thongchai Jaidee, Prayad   Marksaeng,   Prom Meesawat, Chawalit Plaphol, Thaworn Wiratchant, Prayad   Marksaeng   and the legendary Boonchu Ruangkit, Thammanoon Srirot and Thaworn Wiratchant.

The   strength of the field will no doubt ensure that this year s Johnnie Walker   Classic will   grab   the   attention of the golfing world and put Thailand in the spotlight around the world.
Released on behalf of Johnnie Walker Classic
By Aziam Burson-Marsteller
Further information, please contact:
Satida Sritunyatorn or James Best
Tel: +66 (0) 2252 9871
Fax: +66 (0) 2254 8353
Email: james_best@th.bm.com   End.
-RK-

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