Date: December 20, 2006

Johnnie Walker Classic to be given Thai flavour in 2007

Vorathep Rangchaikul, President of Riche Monde Bangkok Limited, confirmed that the16th Johnnie Walker Classic will be played at the Blue Canyon Country Club on the resort island of Phuket, Thailand, March 1-4, 2007. Tri-sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasian Tours, the 2007 Classic will offer $3 million in prize money as it returns to Thailand for the third time. Heading the customary star-studded field will be three of the world&aposs Top-10 players: Australian Adam Scott and South Africans Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, currently ranked 4, 5 and 6 in the world respectively, plus English Ryder Cup star, Paul Casey. Adam Scott, although relatively young, has already established himself as a truly international player with wins across the world. In 2004, just 23 years old, he became the youngest winner of The Players Championship on the US PGA Tour, an event considered by many to be the games fifth &aposmajor&apos. A past winner at the Johnnie Walker Classic, in Beijing in 2005, Scott has climbed to no. 4 in the world as a result of his victories in the Barclays Singapore Open and The Tour Championship, his second place finish behind Tiger Woods at the American Express Championship and his nine Top-10 finishes on the US PGA Tour. Ernie Els, the likeable South African nick-named &aposthe Big Easy&apos because of his seemingly effortless swing, is a two-time winner of both the US Open and the Johnnie Walker Classic. Els, who also won The Open Championship in Muirfield, Scotland in 2002 has 36 worldwide victories under his belt. In 2006, while recovering from a knee injury that required surgery, the South African had nine Top-10 finishes and just last week won the South African Airways Open. He will be playing in his 12th Johnnie Walker Classic. Retief Goosen, also with two US Open Championships to his name, won the 2002 Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Western Australia. Having secured the South African Open at the end of last year, Goosen had 11 Top-10 finishes in 2006 including runner-up in The Players Championship on the US PGA Tour, 3rd place in the US Masters at Augusta and a second consecutive victory in the Volkswagen Masters in China. Joining these three Top-10 players will be the 29-year-old star Paul Casey, currently ranked 15 in the world, who this year has produced some of the most consistent and spectacular golf of his career. Having won the Volvo China Open last November, Casey has had eight Top-10 finishes including victories in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Scotland and the HSBC World Match Play Championship where the $3.5 million winner s cheque shot him to the top of the European Order of Merit. At the 2006 Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Casey was awarded the Johnnie Walker Young Golfer of the Year Award following a glorious year when he continued to stamp his mark as one of golf&aposs most exciting players. The Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket has previously held the tournament on two occasions. Firstly in 1994 when Greg Norman narrowly pipped Fred Couples for the title and then again in 1998 when Tiger Woods and Ernie Els tied after the regulation 72 holes with Tiger taking the title at the first extra hole. Since 1998, Blue Canyon has undergone substantial changes including the construction of the new Lakes Course, which compliments the Canyon Course over which the Johnnie Walker Classic will be contested. The Canyon is currently undergoing &aposfine tuning&apos to ensure the layout provides a searching test for the 156 professionals who will be playing next March. A number of new tees are being constructed and fairways re-shaped in what is only the first phase of a development programme to further enhance the stature and testing nature of the course. The Johnnie Walker Classic will commence on March 1, 2007.