Han honoured at Asia Pacific Summitt

Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han has been honoured at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Thailand.

Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han has been honoured for his services to the game in Asia at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Thailand’s coastal resort of Pattaya.

Among the highlights on the opening day at the fifth edition of the event, Han joined legendary Thai golfer Thongchai Jaidee as a recipient of the 2011 Asia Pacific Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mike Sebastian, Chief Executive Officer of the Asia Pacific Golf Group, said: “Kyi Hla (Han) was among the very first Asian golfers to make a name for himself on the global stage and gave us some great memories as a professional golfer.

“Now in his senior role with the Asian Tour, he’s making a significant contribution to the growth and expansion of the professional game in Asia.”

Han, who turned 50 in February, said: “It is a tremendous honour to receive the 2011 Asia Pacific Lifetime Achievement Award. Golf in Asia has grown at a rapid rate since the days when I was playing.

“When I started out there were very few opportunities for Asian professionals. Thankfully that is now changing and it is very satisfying for me now to see more and more opportunities developing for our players. I’m certain that we’ll see more Major champions from Asia emerge in the years ahead.”

To date Korea’s YE Yang who won the PGA Championship in 2009, is Asia’s only Major winner.

As one of the first Asians to venture overseas to ply his trade during the 1980s, Han gained widespread respect and admiration from his peers as he mixed it with the best in Australia and Europe.

As a player, his most notable successes came in the 1994 Singapore Open and the 1999 Volvo China Open, a victory that helped catapult him to the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown in that year.

Han’s interest in management was apparent from as long ago as 1994 when, while still active as a player, he was among the founding members of the Asian PGA Tour.

In 2004, he was instrumental in the formation of the player-led Asian Tour, of which Han was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In 2006 he became Executive Chairman since when he has displayed determination, stamina and commitment in his efforts to grow the Asian Tour.

The Asia Pacific Golf Summit is part of a week-long golf carnival in Pattaya that also includes the PGA Conference of Asia, the Golf Course Superintendents of Asia Summit, the ASEAN Golf Tourism Forum and the Southeast Asia and India Golf Merchandise Exposition.

All activities are being sponsored and supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).