The winner of the event, if not otherwise exempt, will earn a card for the 2018 Asian Tour although none of the earnings will count towards either Tour’s money list.
With five of the leading ten players on this year’s Asian Tour money list in the field the task for a non-exempt player of winning the event will be tough but with perhaps many already in a festive mood the chances might well be heightened.
Scott Hend is perhaps surprisingly in the field for the US$500,000 event and is one of only two Australians playing the event. The other is Terry Pilkadaris.
Hend, who has won two titles in Thailand previously, finished 4th on the 2017 Asian Tour money list after winning that title last year and finishing runner-up in 2015.
"I have never played here before, so it’ll be a new experience for me," said Hend. "Let’s see what happens in four rounds. There are some great Thai players here and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
"I haven’t played much since Jakarta (at the Indonesian Masters) and I have just played a little bit of golf in Australia last week. So, I’m taking a rather laid-back approach to the tournament. If I make birdies, I make birdies. If I don’t, then so be it. I’ll just try to have a nice time for the last tournament of the year."
Other headliners at the Royal Cup include Phachara Khongwatmai and Shiv Kapur, the only golfer who has won twice on the Asian Tour this year.
FEATURE HOLES SANCTUARY COVE 18TH HOLE
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.