January 2018 – Asian Tour

Thongchai Marks 200th Asian Tour Event At Maybank Championship


Kuala Lumpur, January 31: Thai star Thongchai Jaidee will play in his 200th Asian Tour event at his favourite hunting ground when the US$3 million Maybank Championship starts on Thursday.

The Thai veteran will fittingly mark a new milestone in his career at the Saujana Golf and Country Club, the venue where he won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005 which subsequently launched his career.

At the age of 48, Thongchai admits that he is preparing for the Seniors Tour where he is eligible to play on at the age of 50.

He is still committed and passionate about the game but will juggle between playing professionally and overseeing the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation. He also has plans to build an international school in his home town in Lopburi.

A return to Malaysia, a country which he calls ‘home’, always brings out the best in Thongchai. He will contend for the prestigious title against a stellar line-up which includes an in-form Li Hao-tong of China, Major champion Henrik Stenson and popular Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Li, who was part of Team Asia in the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia three weeks ago, is full of confidence heading into this week’s Maybank Championship after his spectacular victory in Dubai last week where he defeated four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy.

The win propelled the 22-year-old to 32nd place on the Official World Golf Ranking and became the first Chinese golfer to break into the top-50 in the world.

Shiv Kapur, who won thrice on the Asian Tour last year, hopes to continue his fine form at the Maybank Championship where his wife, Maya, and baby girl, Veda, will cheer for him outside the ropes at Saujana.

The Indian star also hopes to extend his lead on the Panasonic Swing rankings where he leads on 2771.40 points. The Maybank Championship is the penultimate Panasonic Swing event where Asian Tour players have an opportunity to shoot for a share of the lucrative bonus pool.

Did you know?

  • Thongchai Jaidee is the only player to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns. He has also won 13 Tour titles and four events on European soil.
  • His victory at the 2004 Malaysian Open was his first European Tour win. He successfully defended the title in the following year and since then, he has become one of the most popular golfers among Malaysian fans.
  • Thongchai enjoyed a solid outing at the Maybank Championship last year where he shared 12th position. It was one of his best results in a disappointing 2017 season where he finished inside the top-10 twice.
  • Thongchai also hosts his own golf event, the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation, on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
  • His countryman Thaworn Wiratchant currently holds the record of playing in 437 Asian Tour events.
  • Li is currently the youngest player to feature inside the top-50 in the world thanks to his victory in Dubai last week.
  • The Chinese star is also a popular golfer in Malaysia, thanks to his heroics in the EurAsia Cup three weeks ago where he contributed 2½ points.
  • Li hopes to better his tied fifth result at the Maybank Championship last year where he finished four shots back of the champion Fabrizio Zanotti.
  • Before 2017, Kapur only had one victory on the Asian Tour in 2004, the same year where he was named the Rookie of the Year.
  • He was the only golfer to win multiple titles in 2017 at the Yeangder Heritage in Chinese Taipei, Panasonic Open India and Royal Cup in Thailand.
  • He placed 12th at the Maybank Championship last year and has a decent record at the Saujana course as an amateur, most notably when he finished second at the 2000 Saujana Amateur Championship after losing in a play-off.
  • His wife Maya and daughter Veda have travelled with him to Malaysia.

Player Interviews:

Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)

It feels great to play in my 200th Asian Tour event this week. I never count how many events I play so to find out about this is simply amazing. I feel very good especially when it is at Saujana and in Malaysia.

I come to Malaysia every year and this golf course and country feels like my ‘home’. I’ve won here twice but the golf course has changed now. The course is now playing longer but the most important thing to do is to keep the ball in play.

I struggled with my putting and I didn’t perform in 2017. My rankings took a huge dip last year. I want to forget about 2017 and focus this year. Honestly, my target is the seniors’ tour. I’m 48 this year so I have two more years before joining the senior’s tour.

Golf is my life and I love to play golf. I turned professional late but when I look back at my career, it looks great. The young boys in golf now are so good. They have proper training and equipment. That has made them so successful so early in their career.

Li Hao-tong (Chn)

It’s definitely such a big honour after last week. I gained a lot of confidence and experience, so quite happy I can be out there and in that position.

It gave me a lot of confidence and I am feeling great, especially against Rory on Sunday. I think nothing to lose and staying patient was key.

I think my game is pretty solid and I’m putting very well. This week I will just try to save some energy for the week and hopefully play well and enjoy the pressure.

It’s been really good, especially this course, if you put the ball on the fairway all the time you are going to make a lot of birdies.

Sometimes one week can change everything, I will try my best to play well this week and hopefully have a special week.

Shiv Kapur (Ind)

I have been playing here since I was a junior so I know this course quite well. There have been some changes but I have always felt that this course sets up good for my eye. Back in 2000, I played in the Saujana Amateur Championship and I lost in a playoff and last year I had a good finish at the Maybank Championship. So obviously, this course has a good setup for my game, not terribly long and it’s all about placing your ball on the fairways and hitting good iron shots and that suits my game more.

I think the results in Singapore was just due to a little bit of rust and didn’t have much of an off season so Singapore was just about me trying to find my game. I was struggling with my swing all week and my coach Shane (Tohl) has been helping me the past couple of days. I feel like my ball striking is back where it needs to be and from now on things will be better.

I played three weeks in a row and obviously these are tough conditions with the weather. There hasn’t really been a transition between last season and this season I’m a little fatigue. But I want to play as much as I can between now and the Indian Open.

The Panasonic Swing rankings are very important to me, I’ve altered my schedule to fit into Panasonic Swing events. It’s great to have a lead, but it just takes one of the guys behind me to win or do well this week to take over, no one is safe. It’s always nice to pursue rather than be pursued but I couldn’t have asked for a better golf course to be coming in for a Panasonic Swing event.

About Maybank – Humanising Financial Services

Maybank is among Asia’s leading banking groups and South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. The Maybank Group has an international network of 2,400 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong SAR & People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Great Britain and the United States of America. The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 44,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide.(www.maybank.com)

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com
www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf
www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf
www.youtube.com/theasiantour
www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Kuala Lumpur, January 30: Reigning Asian Tour number one Gavin Green of Malaysia will have a more experienced caddie on his bag when he contends at the US$3 million Maybank Championship which starts on Thursday.

The big-hitting 24-year-old will team up with Mark Crane of Scotland, who previously caddied for Paul Casey and Chris Wood and has the experience of caddying in Majors and in the Ryder Cups.

Gavin and Crane worked together for the first time in Dubai last week and will continue their partnership at the Saujana Golf and Country Club where they will face an elite field which includes Henrik Stenson of Sweden and an in-form Li Hao-tong of China, who won last week.

Gavin’s father Gary, who previously caddied for him, will now be on the bag for his younger brother Galven, who will arrive in Malaysia early Thursday morning before teeing it up in the first round at the Maybank Championship.

Green started his 2018 season in Malaysia at the EurAsia Cup and flew to Singapore where he enjoyed a top-10 finish. In the following week, he travelled to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic where he came in tied-45th.

Newly-crowned Asian Tour winner Paul Peterson of the United States is also riding high on confidence after winning in Myanmar last week which propelled him to the top of the Order of Merit ranking.

The 30-year-old American is bracing himself for the humid weather in Malaysia after struggling in the heat in Singapore earlier this month.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma, who had a stellar 2017 season where he finished four top-10 finishes and enjoyed his first Asian Tour and European Tour victory at the Joburg Open. The 21-year-old will enter the Maybank Championship with good memories after finishing tied ninth last year.

Did you know?

  • Gavin Green is the 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner and is the first Malaysian to ever win the accolade.
  • Green is ranked first in driving distance in 2017, averaging 314.08 yards off the tees.
  • He is a Maybank ambassador and hopes to do well in the event after placing tied 47th in last year’s edition and missing the cut in the inaugural event in 2016.
  • Green has a solid track record at the Saujana Golf and Country Club course as an amateur where he won three times.
  • Green played college golf at the University of New Mexico where he won eight times and was named All-American multiple times.
  • The Malaysian is using a new caddy this week instead of his father on the bag. His father will be caddying for his younger brother, Galven Green.
  • Paul Peterson came in tied 29th last year at the Maybank Championship which is his best finish at Saujana Golf and Country Club.
  • He won his first Asian Tour event last week at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open that moved him from 198th place to 127th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
  • His win also pushed him to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
  • Peterson won his first European Tour event under conditional status at the 2016 D+D REAL Czech Masters.
  • The 21-year-old Sharma is one of the rising stars in India. He claimed an emphatic victory at the Joburg Open last year where he was the only Indian in the elite field.
  • Sharma finished tied ninth at the Maybank Championship last year. It was his third straight top-10 result on the Asian Tour which sealed his card for 2017.
  • Interestingly, Sharma has ties with Anirban Lahiri beyond golf. Lahiri’s father, who is a doctor helped deliver Sharma’s sister some years ago!

Player Interviews:

Gavin Green (Mas)

The last 12 months have been a huge learning process for me. Patience is obviously a huge thing in golf, I know everybody says it but it is true. If you don’t have patience, there is no way you will reach success. This is my fourth week in a row and I’m resting as much as I can. I’m hitting it a little bit better as compared to EurAsia Cup so that’s good. I know this course well. I think everybody will have a tough time on the greens. My game has tightened up and I have been working really hard with my coaches. I feel I’m mentally and physically prepared. Definitely there’s a chance (to win) but I need to stay patient and handle the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd. I’m working with a new caddy. We started working together in Dubai last week. His name is Mark Crane (Scotland) and it has been working well so far. He is here this week. He caddied for Paul Casey, Chris Wood and he has experience of being a caddy in the Ryder Cup and Majors. We are trying to get comfortable with each other and so far, it has been good. It is a different chemistry because I had my dad on the bag previously. He understands that you can’t attack all the holes. You got to play it on the safe side, get your par and get out of there. For example, on hole number two. You want your par and get out of there. It is such a tough hole, so why make it tougher? Make it as simple as possible. Somebody of that level telling me that is a different thing. He had an injury and he was out for a while. Now he is on my bag. If my brother (Galven) beats me, I won’t talk to him for a long time! He won’t have a practice round and will only be arriving on Thursday morning. He has requested for a late tee time so if he beats me, I won’t talk to him for a long time. Thankfully, he hasn’t called me and asked for advice but my father will be caddying for him and he has gone out to do his homework.

Shubhankar Sharma (Ind)

Life has changed a lot for me. Two years ago, I had to work very hard to save my card and last year I was very determined in the beginning to get off to a good start. I did start very well with three top-10s including a tied ninth result at the Maybank Championship. That finish here pretty much kick-started things for me because it was my first top-10 on the European Tour and it gave me the confidence. I think that led to the win at the Joburg Open as well because I had the feeling that I belong here. I feel much relaxed this week. I played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the last two weeks and I made cuts in both events. I’m feeling really good about my game and I have good memories here. I’m going to enjoy myself because I’ve been missing all the fun I had on the Asian Tour. The conditions this week will be the same like the last two weeks in the Middle East. It will be hot and humid. It feels like I’m coming back to ‘home’. I’ve played this course before I don’t have to really learn anything new. (On people branding him the next Indian rising star) I have no pressure, it is just more motivation for me. There have been people before me who have done better or won Majors at my age. There have been a lot of people who have achieved much more at my age so it is something that I can look forward to. I just want to keep putting myself in contention. It motivates me a lot more.

Paul Peterson (USA)

My goal would be to finish top-five here. My game still feels solid from last week and my energy is where I want it to be. I was so exhausted in Singapore but I like where my game is at and I just want to keep this momentum going. I was on the east coast before Singapore Open so I struggled with the drastic change in weather coming to Singapore, which is one of the hottest places I have been to. I was actually very surprised that I struggled in Singapore because I was playing well all through the end of last year and Sentosa is one of my favorite courses. It’s nice to have everything come together, my wedges feel good and I have been hitting a lot of fairways and greens. This course is longer than last week, there are a couple of holes that are tricky, like the second hole and the 14th. But I think I will still be provided with a lot of opportunities to make birdies and if I take advantage of all the par fives and minimize mistakes it will be a good week. I hope that having a bit more time practising in Singapore and Myanmar has prepared me for the weather this week. Just keeping myself hydrated and drinking lots of coconuts.

Ends.

About Maybank – Humanising Financial Services

Maybank is among Asia’s leading banking groups and South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. The Maybank Group has an international network of 2,400 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong SAR & People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Great Britain and the United States of America. The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 44,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide. (www.maybank.com)

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com
www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf
www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf
www.youtube.com/theasiantour
www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Kuala Lumpur, January 30: Poom Saksansin had a chance to say ‘thank you’ to Henrik Stenson of Sweden at the Maybank Championship after receiving a memorable gift from the Major champion earlier this month.

Poom met his golf idol Stenson at the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia three weeks ago and together with his teammate Sunghoon Kang, they caused one of the biggest upsets of the week by defeating the Swede and Alexander Levy 5&4 in the opening fourball match.

Team Europe eventually won the showdown but Poom emerged as one of the standout performers where he also defeated Paul Casey of England in the Singles match.

Despite his heroics in the tournament, Poom was still too shy to ask for an autograph and photo but Stenson was gracious to sign a shirt with the words “To Poom, thanks for kicking my @$$”.

“We need to rename him assassin instead of Saksansin!” said Stenson, who will headline the US$3 million Maybank Championship which starts on Thursday. “Alex and I got a heavy beating there and deserved it.”

“Afterwards I got one of the team shirts and signed it for him because I heard he is a bit of a fan. I don’t think he needs to be shy at this point. He is a good player and they played fantastic the first round. They beat us fair and square,” he added.

It was a simple but meaningful gesture by Stenson which Poom, a two-time Asian Tour champion, will remember and cherish for a long time to come. He also had a chance to take a photo with Stenson at the Maybank Championship today.

“I received this Henrik Stenson autographed shirt from Arjun Atwal in Singapore. I wanted to get it from Henrik at the EurAsia Cup but Arjun told me to beat him first and I did it. After that I was too shy to ask it from him,” Poom recalled.

“I’m so happy Arjun helped me to get this autographed t-shirt. Henrik is my idol because he looks so cool and never smiles. I like him a lot because he is world class and he signed this shirt,” he smiled.

World number 12 Stenson will be among the star studded names to play in the Maybank Championship at the Saujana Golf and Country Club. He will be joined by defending champion Fabrizio Zanotti and reigning Asian Tour number one Gavin Green.

For more information on Maybank and its initiatives visit www.maybank.com. For more updates on the upcoming Maybank Championship 2018 visit www.maybankchampionship.com.

About Maybank – Humanising Financial Services

Maybank is among Asia’s leading banking groups and South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. The Maybank Group has an international network of 2,400 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong SAR & People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Great Britain and the United States of America. The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 44,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide.(www.maybank.com)

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com
www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf
www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf
www.youtube.com/theasiantour
www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Yangon, January 28: Paul Peterson of the United States secured his maiden Asian Tour title when he outclassed the field with a two-shot victory at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open on Sunday.

Despite dropping two bogeys in his closing four holes, Peterson ensured victory would belong to him by closing with a birdie on 18 to sign off with a five-under-par 66. 

The 29-year-old started his final day two shots off the lead, but stormed out quickly with two birdies and an eagle in his opening five holes. Peterson’s lead was briefly threatened when he dropped two shots on 15 and 17 but the American maintained his composure by sinking a crucial birdie at the last hole for his Asian Tour breakthrough.

Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira set the course record at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club with a stunning 63. However his final day heroics were not enough to overtake Peterson, leaving him to settle for a share of second place with compatriot Tomoyo Ikemura with his four-day total of 11-under-par 273 at the US$750,000 event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO). 

American Berry Henson continued his amazing return from injury by carding a 64 to finish in fourth place while Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan, who led for the first two rounds, closed with a 69 to share fifth place with 2016 Leopalace21  Myanmar Open champion Shaun Norris of South Africa and Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato.

Did you know?

·       Paul Peterson’s last win came in 2016 at the Czech Republic on the European Tour.

·       The Leopalace21 Myanmar Open is Peterson’s first win on the Asian Tour.

·       Peterson had carded a total of 22 birdies and one eagle over four days at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club.

·       He also made a total of 39 pars and had nine bogeys and one double-bogey.

·       Satoshi Kodaira set a new course record with his final round 63, smashing the previous ones set by Australia’s Todd Sinnott and Japan’s Yusaki Miyazato who carded a 64 during the third and second round respectively at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year. 

·       Berry Henson’s serious wrist injuries caused him to stay out of competitive golf for 18 months.

·       The American’s last victory on the Asian Tour was in the Philippines in 2011.

·       He made his first start since returning from injury with a tied-eighth finish in Singapore last week. 

Players’ Quotes:

Paul Peterson (Usa), Fourth round Five-under-par 66, Total (-13) 271

This victory is very special as the Asian Tour is where I started and to be able to get a win here really means a lot. I had to make that transition from Asia to Europe and I was trying to play in as many events as I could. So it just feels right that I’m finally able to have a win under my belt out here in Myanmar. I felt like I made some good putts yesterday like on 17 and 18 although I three-putted there. The greens got so fast and slippery and my putts just didn’t go in. But I tried to put that out of my mind because I’ve been playing such consistent golf this week. I was like even if those bogeys came at the end of the round or at the beginning, it didn’t really matter as this golf course has shown its tough because even an even par didn’t move me anywhere far off the lead. So I was confident of myself and I knew I had a chance to win. And I did.

Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn), Fourth round Eight-under-par 63, Total (-11) 273

I’m really pleased with how I’ve played all week. It’s a good feeling especially when you know you can set a course record. Although I didn’t win, it’s still a good week as I know I’m capable of playing my best golf. 

Berry Henson (Usa), Fourth round Seven-under-par 64 Total (-10) 274

I’m Mr. Sunday. It’s awesome. My game has been so good and I just needed to trust myself. I trusted myself last week in Singapore and shot a 65. I trusted myself again today and I felt good. I knew the last few holes were going to be tough and I had to make a charge. I didn’t know if I was ever going to play golf again. I went through two pretty major wrist surgeries but I stayed positive. My doctor told me I was going to be fine and I worked hard on my body and did everything I could to get back out here. The people who worked hard to get me back into the game were awesome. I feel so strong now and my body feels great. As I started to play golf again, I could see the changes in my swing and I was shooting some really good numbers. I knew tournament rust was not going to be too much of an issue and it was basically believing in my abilities to play at the highest level again. 

Rattanon Wannasrichan, (Tha), Fourth round Two-under-par 69, Total (-9) 275

I did not putt well today. If I putted better, that could have made the difference. But overall, I’m happy with the result as this will give me lots of confidence going into next week’s event in Malaysia. You need a strong performance to know that your game is heading in the right direction and I’m glad I had that this week in Myanmar. 

Leading Scores after round 4 of the LeoPalace21 Myanmar Open 2018 being played at the par 71, 7103 Yards Pun Hliang GC course (am – denotes amateur):

271 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 68-66-71-66.

273 – Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN) 69-69-72-63, Tomoyo IKEMURA (JPN) 71-66-69-67.

274 – Berry HENSON (USA) 68-71-71-64.

275 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 65-69-72-69, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 67-70-69-69, Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN) 71-65-68-71.

276 – Tatsuya KODAI (JPN) 69-70-71-66, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 67-68-70-71.

277 – Scott VINCENT (ZIM) 68-73-70-66, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 68-71-71-67, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 70-72-66-69, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 70-68-68-71.

278 – Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 69-69-72-68, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 69-69-72-68, Shugo IMAHIRA (JPN) 70-68-72-68, Mikumu HORIKAWA (JPN) 68-71-70-69, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 70-67-68-73.

279 – Toshinori MUTO (JPN) 71-67-72-69, Masashi HIDAKA (JPN) 70-69-71-69.

Ends.

About Leopalace21

Founded in 1973, Leopalace21 is a real estate company which constructs and rents apartments, currently managing 560 thousand rooms in Japan. The company also owns and operates a 36-hole golf course and resort facility in Guam, as well as 15 overseas offices which introduce residences and offices to Japanese companies advancing into the ASEAN region.

Leopalace21 Corporation: http://eg.leopalace21.com/

Leopalace Resort Guam: http://www.guam.ne.jp/

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com 

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf 

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf  

www.youtube.com/theasiantour 

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Yangon, January 27: France’s Lionel Weber enjoyed a flawless third round five-under-par 66 to top the leaderboard at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Frenchman was in his elements as he tamed the challenging greens at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club with his three-day total of 10-under-par 203 to take a slender shot lead over Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato. 

Miyazato, who played in the final group last year, will head into his final 18 holes in the same group again as he aims to break into the world’s top-50 with a strong finish at the US$750,000 event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai, nicknamed ‘Art’ painted a rosy picture of his title ambitions as he signed for a 68 to stay two shots back of Weber in tied-third place with overnight co-leader Paul Peterson of the United States and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura.

India’s Arjun Atwal stayed in the mix with a 68 that placed him in a share of sixth place that also includes 2016 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open champion Shaun Norris of South Africa.

Did you know?

·       Lionel Weber graduated from the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2013. He finished in 55th place at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year.

·       Weber’s best result and sole top-10 result in 2017 was a tied-sixth finish in Indonesia.

·       The Frenchman ended his 2017 season in 56th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

·       Yusaki Miyazato held the lead for two days at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year. He played in the final group but eventually finished tied-sixth.

·       Miyazato topped the money list on the JGTO with his four victories last year.

·       He is currently ranked 54 in the world.

·       Suradit Yongcharoenchai had two top-10s in 2017 on the Asian Tour.

·       The Thai missed the cut at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year.

·       Arjun Atwal captained Team Asia at the recent EurAsia Cup. His team led for two days but lost after being outplayed in the Singles matches.

·       Atwal won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2003 and also made history by becoming the first Indian golfer to win on the US PGA Tour in 2010.

·       Atwal’s last win on the Asian Tour came in Dubai in 2014.

Players’ Quotes

Lionel Weber (Fra) Third round Five-under-par 66, Total (-10) 203

It has been a long time since I’ve been in this position. I didn’t play well last year and I only had one top-10 so it feels good to be back in this position. I was really focused on my game today and I got the right technique to do that. I’m not scare of anyone and I just want to play a good round of golf tomorrow and we’ll see what happens. It feels good to know I had a bogey-free round. I had a lucky bounce on one hole which could have gone into the water. I feel I can strike the ball better today but I had a very good course management.

Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) Third round Three-under-par 68, Total (-9) 204

My putting was terrible today but I’m happy I managed to return with a bogey-free round. I don’t plan to change any aspect of my game and will stick to what I’ve been doing the last three days. I tried to stay positive when I was not making any birdies after the first hole and maintained my tempo. It was good when I managed to finish with two birdies on 17 and 18. There are a lot of Japanese people here in Myanmar and hopefully I can make them happy with a win tomorrow.

Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha) Third round Three-under-par 68, Total (-8) 205

I started off really well with an opening birdie and continued that momentum with those three birdies on holes seven, eight and nine. I think I’ll be feeling a little nervous tomorrow but I hope to play my own game and not think too much. I hope I can handle the pressure tomorrow.

Arjun Atwal (Ind) Third round Three-under-par 68, Total (-7) 206

The greens were pretty tough to putt on today but nevertheless I’m pleased with how I played today. The EurAsia Cup captaincy was a good experience but I still like playing and being in control of the situation as a player. I like the laid-back attitude here in Myanmar and I love the golf course here. I want to win tomorrow as my goal has always been to win.

Leading Scores after round 3 of the LeoPalace21 Myanmar Open 2018 being played at the par 71, 7103 Yards Pun Hliang GC course (am – denotes amateur):

203 – Lionel WEBER (FRA) 68-69-66.

204 – Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN) 71-65-68.

205 – Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 70-67-68, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 67-68-70, Paul PETERSON (USA) 68-66-71.

206 – Arjun ATWAL (IND) 70-68-68, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 67-70-69, Tomoyo IKEMURA (JPN) 71-66-69, Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 65-69-72.

207 – Toru NAKAJIMA (JPN) 69-68-70, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 69-66-72.

208 – Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 71-70-67, Rikuya HOSHINO (JPN) 68-70-70, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 70-72-66.

209 – Mikumu HORIKAWA (JPN) 68-71-70, Narutoshi YAMAOKA (JPN) 70-71-68, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 68-69-72.

210 – Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND) 70-70-70, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 68-71-71, Berry HENSON (USA) 68-71-71, Masashi HIDAKA (JPN) 70-69-71, Tatsuya KODAI (JPN) 69-70-71, Toshinori MUTO (JPN) 71-67-72, Shugo IMAHIRA (JPN) 70-68-72, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 69-69-72, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 69-69-72, Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN) 69-69-72, Junwon PARK (KOR) 68-67-75.

Ends.

About Leopalace21

Founded in 1973, Leopalace21 is a real estate company which constructs and rents apartments, currently managing 560 thousand rooms in Japan. The company also owns and operates a 36-hole golf course and resort facility in Guam, as well as 15 overseas offices which introduce residences and offices to Japanese companies advancing into the ASEAN region.

Leopalace21 Corporation: http://eg.leopalace21.com/

Leopalace Resort Guam: http://www.guam.ne.jp/

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com 

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf 

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf  

www.youtube.com/theasiantour 

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Yangon, January 26: Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan remained in the driver’s seat together with American Paul Peterson as they stayed ahead of the chasing pack after the second round of the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open on Friday.

Peterson hauled himself back into contention with a five-under-par 66  while Rattanon’s excellent short game ensured he would share the day’s honour when he signed for a 69.

Peterson, who lost his playing status in Europe, had an encouraging run with five top-10 finishes on the Asian Tour in the last quarter of 2017.

Although he missed the cut in the season-opener in Singapore last week, the left-handed American believes he has the game to contend for the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open title after compiling a two-day total of eight-under-par 134.

Rattanon was left to rue several costly mistakes because of his bad tee shots but had his putter to thank for keeping him in the lead at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club.

Micah Lauren Shin of the United States continued his good form by returning with a 66 despite hitting four balls into the water hazards. The 2017 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year shared third place together with Korea’s Junwon Park and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura at the US$750,000 event that is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

Star attraction Ryo Ishikawa of Japan missed the weekend cut which was set at even-par

Did you know?

·       Rattanon Wannasrichan enjoyed a wire-to-wire victory when he lifted his maiden Asian Tour title on home soil last year. He continues to hold the lead after two days this week.

·       Rattanon only managed to hit 11 greens in regulation while making a total of 27 putts in his second round.

·       Paul Peterson came through the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2014 and claimed his first title on the European Tour at the 2016 D+D REAL Czech Masters.

·       Peterson has yet to win on the Asian Tour but came close towards the end of 2017 with two tied-second finishes in India and Hong Kong.

·       The American ended the 2017 season in 13th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

·       The par-four second hole at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club continues to be Micah Lauren Shin’s bogey hole as he continues to drop shot on that hole over the last two days.

·       Shin has hit 13 greens in regulation on each day in his first two rounds.

Players’ Quotes 

Rattanon Wannasrichan (Tha) Second round Two-under-par 69, Total 134 (-8)

I didn’t hit the ball as well as yesterday. I missed several fairways and only managed to return with a two-under-par. My putting saved me today as I managed to sink several long putts. The round was okay except for two bad holes on 16 and 17. I try to play my best and play shot by shot this weekend. I have to stay patient as that will be the key for me this week.

Paul Peterson (Usa) Second round Five-under-par 66, Total 134 (-8)

I got off to a fine start. I hit some quality wedge shots in the beginning and gave myself several scoring opportunities. I felt like I was in control of my golf balls and I’m really happy. I’ve been trying to rehydrate and get my energy back after suffering from a heat stroke in Singapore last week. It was a big adjustment for me having to go from Virginia in the US to the tropical heat here. I finished strongly last year and I feel I still have much of that momentum. It was a growth year for me having lost my card in Europe. It made me appreciate every single start I had. I gained a lot of perspective last year. I really to do my best to get back out there.

Micah Lauren Shin (Usa) Second round Five-under-par 66, Total 135 (-7)

I was actually hitting the ball really well but it was just those missed shots that went into the water. Those were all my tee shots. But I managed to recover in those three other holes to save par. I could have made birdie on two of them as they were on the par-five. After I missed the cut in Singapore, I just went to the range to practice. I was not hitting my driver well. I changed my driver this week and it’s helping me to hit the ball straighter. Every aspect of your game has to be sharp on this golf course. Tee shots are really important and the greens are really firm. So you got to place it properly and hit the right shots. If you miss them, you got to get up and down.

Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) Second round, Three-under-par 68, Total 135 (-7)

I feel I could have putted better as I missed several short putts these last two days. But it’s nice to be among the leaders as we head into the weekend rounds here in Myanmar. I need to work on my short game and if I can do that, maybe something special will happen on Sunday.

Leading Scores after round 2 of the LeoPalace21 Myanmar Open 2018 being played at the par 71, 7103 Yards Pun Hliang GC course (am – denotes amateur):

134 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 68-66, Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 65-69.

135 – Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 69-66, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 67-68, Junwon PARK (KOR) 68-67.

136 – Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN) 71-65.

137 – Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 70-67, Tomoyo IKEMURA (JPN) 71-66, Toru NAKAJIMA (JPN) 69-68, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 68-69, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 68-69, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 67-70.

138 – Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN) 69-69, Seungsu HAN (USA) 67-71, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 69-69, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 69-69, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 70-68, Shugo IMAHIRA (JPN) 70-68, David OH (USA) 67-71, Rikuya HOSHINO (JPN) 68-70, Toshinori MUTO (JPN) 71-67.

139 – LU Wei-chih (TPE) 70-69, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 68-71, Koki FURUTA (JPN) 74-65, Tatsuya KODAI (JPN) 69-70, Sihwan KIM (USA) 69-70, Mikumu HORIKAWA (JPN) 68-71, Hiroshi IWATA (JPN) 71-68, Masashi HIDAKA (JPN) 70-69, Berry HENSON (USA) 68-71, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 68-71, Daijiro IZUMIDA (JPN) 72-67.

140 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 72-68, Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND) 70-70, LIU Yan-wei (CHN) 69-71, Hyungsung KIM (KOR) 69-71.

141 – Scott VINCENT (ZIM) 68-73, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 72-69, Yikeun CHANG (KOR) 70-71, Todd SINNOTT (AUS) 71-70, Daisuke MARUYAMA (JPN) 73-68, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 69-72, Keith HORNE (RSA) 68-73, Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 71-70, Tadahiro TAKAYAMA (JPN) 73-68, Ben LEONG (MAS) 71-70, Kieran PRATT (AUS) 68-73, Yuta IKEDA (JPN) 69-72, Kitaek KWON (KOR) 72-69, Narutoshi YAMAOKA (JPN) 70-71.

142 – Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 71-71, Ye Htet AUNG (MYN) 71-71, LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 71-71, Kunihiro KAMII (JPN) 72-70, Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 73-69, Eric SUGIMOTO (JPN) 73-69, Naing Naing LIN (MYN) 67-75, Natipong SRITHONG (THA) 69-73, Zaw Zaw LATT (MYN) 71-71, Younghan SONG (KOR) 71-71, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 70-72, Rashid KHAN (IND) 71-71, Ryuji MASAOKA (JPN) 70-72, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 71-71, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 70-72, Kyungnam KANG (KOR) 71-71.

Ends.

About Leopalace21

Founded in 1973, Leopalace21 is a real estate company which constructs and rents apartments, currently managing 560 thousand rooms in Japan. The company also owns and operates a 36-hole golf course and resort facility in Guam, as well as 15 overseas offices which introduce residences and offices to Japanese companies advancing into the ASEAN region.

Leopalace21 Corporation: http://eg.leopalace21.com/

Leopalace Resort Guam: http://www.guam.ne.jp/

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com 

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf 

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf  

www.youtube.com/theasiantour 

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Yangon, January 25: Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan delivered a short game masterclass by firing a flawless six-under-par 65 to set the early pace at the US$750,000 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open on Thursday.

The 22-year-old Thai displayed the form that led him to his maiden victory on home soil last year by cruising through with a sparkling first round which was highlighted by six birdies at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club. 

Myanmar’s Naing Naing Lin showed why he is the country’s top player when he returned with a 67 to trail Rattanon by two shots. He was among the five players bunched in tied-second place which also included 2016 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open champion Shaun Norris of South Africa.

Lin, a father-of-two, believes it is his combination of skills and luck that brought him close to the leaderboard summit while Norris relished another happy return to Myanmar at the US$750,000 event which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO). 

Australia’s Kieran Pratt, who put aside his golf clubs and spent two years working in a construction company in Melbourne, delighted himself with a 68 to take a share of seventh place as he continues to rebuild his professional golf career.

The Australian is now hoping for a strong performance which can be the catalyst for him to return to the heights of 2012 when he won his lone Asian Tour title at the Myanmar Open. 

Star attraction Ryo Ishikawa of Japan posted an opening 70 to take a share of 34th place, five shots back of Rattanon.

Did you know?

·       Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan earned his maiden breakthrough on the Asian Tour with a wire-to-wire victory at his National Open in May last year.

·       Rattanon also represented Thailand during his amateur days and won the team and individual gold medals at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia.

·       The Thai hit 16 greens in regulation and made a total of 29 putts today.

·       Naing Naing Lin played six tournaments on the domestic tour in Myanmar, winning three of them and finishing inside the top-10 twice to emerge as the country’s Order of Merit champion.

·       The 33-year-old turned professional in 2007 and plays mostly in Myanmar.

·       Shaun Norris is currently leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit thanks to his tied-second result at the season opening event in Singapore last week.

·       Norris followed up his maiden Asian Tour victory in Chinese Taipei in 2015 with his second win at the 2016 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open.

·       Kieran Pratt is playing in his first event that offers Official World Ranking points in two years.

·       He missed the grade at Qualifying School after finishing tied-57th and spent the last two years working at a construction company in Melbourne.

Players’ Quotes: 

Rattanon Wannasrichan (Tha) First round Six-under-par 65

The course conditions are almost similar to last year. The greens are very hard and fast. You got to be really accurate off the tee here. I putted well and that was key. I’ve been practicing a lot off-season and changed the way I hit the ball. My ball flight is now different and I’m able to control the ball better now. I missed the cut by one shot last year and I hope to do better this week. I hope to end the year inside the top-10 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit

Shaun Norris (Rsa) First round Four-under-par 67

I played nicely today. I played solid and I’m very happy with my round. I can’t complain about the weather and course conditions. It was absolutely perfect out there. The greenkeepers have done well. Winning the Myanmar Open in 2016 was a massive stepping stone for me so it’s always nice to come back.  I’m very happy with my game at the moment. I’m playing each hole as it is. I’m not expecting too much but I’m very happy with where I’m at the moment.

Naing Naing Lin (Myn) First round Four-under-par 67

I played well but I was also lucky. I’ve been hitting the ball well. I hit 17 greens in regulation and only hit one shot into the bunker on six for a bogey. The Myanmar PGA organised several practice rounds for us before this week’s tournament and I’m happy I took full advantage of those practice sessions.

Kieran Pratt (Aus) First round Three-under-par 68

That win (2012 Myanmar Open victory) seems so long ago. I was working full-time in a building company back in Melbourne but I was playing weekend golf with my mates and shooting some really low scores. I was not really playing well back then and thought I had to do something else for a while. But deep inside, I always enjoy being on the golf course and thought there’s where I should be. My last day with the building company was 21st December last year as I tried to get ready for Qualifying School. Unfortunately I did not make the grade. I’m hoping to return to the game slowly and plot my way back again.

Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) First round One-under-par 70

I wish I was able to play one or two shot better today. I was two-under after 15 holes and I missed a four-foot putt on 15 and missed another birdie putt on the last. But it’s okay, it’s still an under-par round and there’s still everything to play for.  The weather’s very good today. It was little hot and the greens were firmer than yesterday.

Leading scores after round 1 of the LeoPalace21 Myanmar Open 2018 being played at the par 71, 7103 Yards Pun Hliang GC course (am – denotes amateur):

65 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA).

67 – Naing Naing LIN (MYN), Shaun NORRIS (RSA), David OH (USA), Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN), Seungsu HAN (USA).

68 – Berry HENSON (USA), Casey O’TOOLE (USA), Kieran PRATT (AUS), Lionel WEBER (FRA), Poom SAKSANSIN (THA), Junwon PARK (KOR), Rikuya HOSHINO (JPN), Scott VINCENT (ZIM), Paul PETERSON (USA), Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA), Mikumu HORIKAWA (JPN), Keith HORNE (RSA).

69 – Toru NAKAJIMA (JPN), Chikkarangappa S. (IND), Natipong SRITHONG (THA), Kodai ICHIHARA (JPN), LIU Yan-wei (CHN), Yuta IKEDA (JPN), Hyungsung KIM (KOR), Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN), Micah Lauren SHIN (USA), Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), Tatsuya KODAI (JPN), Miguel TABUENA (PHI), Richard T. LEE (CAN), Sihwan KIM (USA).

70 – Zaw MOE (MYN), Bowen XIAO (CHN), Arjun ATWAL (IND), Shugo IMAHIRA (JPN), Narutoshi YAMAOKA (JPN), Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND), Ryuji MASAOKA (JPN), Shohei KARIMATA (JPN), Terry PILKADARIS (AUS), Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND), Ryutaro NAGANO (JPN), LU Wei-chih (TPE), Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA), Ryo ISHIKAWA (JPN), Yikeun CHANG (KOR), Taichi NABETANI (JPN), Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND), Masashi HIDAKA (JPN).

71 – Zaw Zaw LATT (MYN), Ben LEONG (MAS), Younghan SONG (KOR), Masanori KOBAYASHI (JPN), Khalin JOSHI (IND), Rashid KHAN (IND), Katsumasa MIYAMOTO (JPN), Jarin TODD (USA), Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS), Toshinori MUTO (JPN), Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), Kyungnam KANG (KOR), Chapchai NIRAT (THA), Backjun AN (KOR), Ye Htet AUNG (MYN), Jbe KRUGER (RSA), Konosuke NAKAZATO (JPN), Nicholas FUNG (MAS), Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN), Johannes VEERMAN (USA), Todd SINNOTT (AUS), Adilson DA SILVA (BRA), LIANG Wen-chong (CHN), Hiroshi IWATA (JPN), Tomoyo IKEMURA (JPN), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA).

Ends.

About Leopalace21

Founded in 1973, Leopalace21 is a real estate company which constructs and rents apartments, currently managing 560 thousand rooms in Japan. The company also owns and operates a 36-hole golf course and resort facility in Guam, as well as 15 overseas offices which introduce residences and offices to Japanese companies advancing into the ASEAN region.

Leopalace21 Corporation: http://eg.leopalace21.com/

Leopalace Resort Guam: http://www.guam.ne.jp/

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com 

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf 

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf  

www.youtube.com/theasiantour 

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Sentosa, Singapore, January 22: Talented Thai duo Jazz Janewattananond and Danthai Boonma turned their dreams of playing at The Open into a reality after putting on solid displays at the SMBC Singapore Open on Sunday.

Jazz and Danthai, aged 22 and 21 respectively, battled tooth-and-nail to finish tied fourth at the SMBC Singapore Open and was rewarded with coveted spots at The 147th Open which will be held at Carnoustie from July 19 to 22.

It has been Jazz’s life-long dream to tee up in the world’s oldest Major championship after watching his idol Tiger Woods in action at The Open in Carnoustie in 2007. 11 years later, he gave himself an opportunity to possibly play alongside his golfing idol at the same venue.

“My father brought me to watch Tiger Woods at Carnoustie when I was around 10 years old so earning my Major debut at the Carnoustie this year makes me feel really special. I have also played in the Junior Open Championship held at the Lundin Links before. It has been a long journey since,” said Jazz.

“I wasn’t expecting to qualify for The Open, but I am glad that I am in. I am very excited about teeing it up at Carnoustie, but also very nervous about playing in it even though it is still a few months away. It is a dream come true to be playing The Open. I can’t wait to be there.”

The 2017 season was a mixed year for Jazz as he started the year without an Asian Tour card. But he turned his career around with a victory at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open in February and his career has been on the upswing since.

He made his debut on the PGA Tour last May and also earned his European Tour card for the 2017/2018 season through the Qualifying School.

“Playing in a Major tournament is every professional golfer’s dream. The Asian Tour is where I started my career. It’s a great platform that has helped me build my career. I am really grateful for all the opportunities that it has offered, especially to young players like me,” said the Thai.

Danthai, who celebrates his 22nd birthday on Tuesday, enjoyed another fine run in Singapore as he also won his first Asian Tour title in the country three years ago. 

“I am very happy and proud to qualify for The Open, which is my first Major championship. I am looking forward to the challenge and experience of playing Carnoustie. It’s an early birthday present for myself,” smiled Danthai, who finished 34th on the 2017 Order of Merit.

Sean Crocker of the United States claimed the third ticket on offer to The Open after finishing seven shots back of winner Sergio Garcia in tied-sixth position at the Sentosa Golf Club. Lucas Herbert of Australia pipped Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and Berry Henson of the United States to the fourth and final ticket on offer through his higher world ranking.

The trio ended the week in tied-eight position with Gavin Green of Malaysia, who has already qualified for The Open after winning the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season.

Jazz and Danthai share second place on the Order of Merit after taking home US$45,500. South African Shaun Norris leads the Merit ranking on US$86,500, thanks to his joint runner-up finish at the SMBC Singapore Open. Norris has also earned his ticket to The Open after finishing tied third at the Joburg Open last year.

The Tour will head to Myanmar for the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open this week. The US$750,000 event, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the JGTO, is slated to take place at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club from January 25 to 28.

Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20

Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)

1. Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 86,500

2. Danthai BOONMA (THA) 45,500

2. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 45,500

4. Gavin GREEN (MAS) 20,612.5

4. Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 20,612.5

4. Berry HENSON (USA) 20,612.5

7. Danny MASRIN (INA) 15,283.33

7. Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 15,283.33

9. LIANG Wenchong (CHN) 12,950

9. CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 12,950

9. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 12,950

12. Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 11,350

13. Ben LEONG (MAS) 10,450

13. Shiv KAPUR (IND) 10,450

13. Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN) 10,450

16. Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 8,950

16. Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 8,950

16. Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 8,950

19. Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 7,516.67

19. Giwhan KIM (KOR) 7,516.67

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf

www.youtube.com/theasiantour

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Sentosa, Singapore, January 21: Sergio Garcia of Spain put on a masterful display of golf as he carded a three-under-par 68 to romp to a dominant five-shot victory at the US$1 million SMBC Singapore Open on Sunday. 

The 2017 Masters Tournament champion built his one-shot lead at the start of round four into a five-shot advantage after nine holes on Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course. 

Garcia’s day got off to a great start as he birdied the first hole. He went on to score two more in quick succession before the turn, on holes seven and eight. The Spaniard switched to cruise control for the remainder of the round, carding nine consecutive pars to close with a total of 14-under-par 270.

A final-round 71 earned Satoshi Kodaira of Japan a share of second place. The six-time Japan Golf Tour winner played a roller-coaster round, highlighted by the fact that he only had eight pars out of the 18 holes.

Shaun Norris of South Africa had a round of two halves. He dropped two shots in his front nine, but he rallied and made three birdies on the back nine to card a 70 as well as to grab a share of second place.

Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand

Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand gave himself an outside chance of winning the tournament after carding 68 and 66 in rounds two and three respectively. The 22-year-old could not sustain his mid-tournament form and closed with a 71. He finished tied-fourth and earned a spot at this year’s Open Championship.

The SMBC Singapore Open is part of The Open Qualifying Series.  Four players who finish inside the top-12 and ties, who are not already exempt, will earn places in the field at Carnoustie from July 19 to 22, 2018. 

Compatriot Danthai Boonma also finished tied-fourth and he will join Jazz in Carnoustie after carding a 73. The 21-year-old sizzled in round three with a 65 to lead the tournament at the end of Saturday before play was suspended due to bad weather. However, he could not bring his momentum to round four.

Sean Crocker of the United States and Cameron Davis of Australia carded 69 and 70 respectively to finish in tied-sixth. With Davis already exempt, Crocker will take up the third Open Championship spot.

The final spot to The Open went to Lucas Herbert of Australia, who finished tied-eighth with Malaysia’s Gavin Green, Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena and United States’ Berry Henson.

Herbert got the nod because of his higher position on the Official World Golf Ranking. 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Green is already exempt.

Did you know:

  • Sergio Garcia averaged 320 yards off the tee at the SMBC Singapore Open. His driving accuracy was 78.6 per cent and he hit 90.3 per cent of greens in regulation. Garcia’s putting average was 1.75 putts per hole.
  • Garcia has only dropped three shots the entire tournament. He scored an eagle, 15 birdies and 53 pars.
  • This is his fourth win on the Asian Tour. He won previously in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.
  • Garcia married Angela Akins in late July last year and they are expecting a baby girl in March 2018.
  • Satoshi Kodaira is a six-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour. His victories include the 2013 Japan Golf Tour Championship Shishido Hills and the 2015 Japan Open, majors of the Japan Golf Tour.
  • His spouse is ex-professional golfer, Miho Koga, who was ranked first on the LPGA of Japan Tour money list in 2008.
  • Jazz Janewattananond was the second-youngest winner on the Asian Tour in 2017 after Resorts World Manila Masters champion, Micah Lauren Shin.
  • He is the youngest ever player to make the halfway cut at the 2010 Asian Tour International in Bangkok at the age of 14 years and 71 days. He won his first Asian Tour title in 2017, when he was 21 years old, at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open
  • Danthai Boonma won an Asian Tour tournament previously in Singapore. He was victorious at the 2015 World Classic Championship that was played at Laguna National Golf and Country Club. The Thai won by one shot.
  • Shaun Norris spent most of 2017 on the Japan Golf Tour, winning once last year, at the Japan Golf Tour Championship Mori Building Cup Shishido Hills.
  • He played in The Open last year and barely made the cut, which was set at +5. He went on to finish tied-62nd in the major tournament.

Player Interviews:

Sergio Garcia (Esp) – Final Round 68 (-3), Total 270 (-14)

It may have looked easy, but it wasn’t easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there.

Obviously, I have to thank my whole team, my family, my wife Angela and my sponsors. They gave me a lot of support and it’s nice to start the year like this. I’m really pleased with everything right now. I still feel like I can get better and I can get even more comfortable. It’s still nice to play like how I did.

It’s always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren’t easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.

I’m extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on, we were able to play and the people were able to enjoy it. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can’t wait to get a cold shower.

I practiced a few weeks before coming here. I feel that I’m getting used to my new equipment. I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I was able to control my emotions quite well out there. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn’t miss many shots.

When you are able to have a beautiful wife and a daughter coming your way, you can only be happy. They are very important.

Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) – Final Round 71 (even-par), Total 275 (-9)

During the front nine, I really played well, but I missed two holes on the back nine. Maybe, it was because it was too hot then.

It was a nice week. I played with tension, played with lots of thinking, and played with top players on a top-quality golf course. I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that.  But I am happy with the final result. My shots are coming good as well. If I play like this, I can compete.

The drive on the 18th gave me lots of confidence. Anyway, it’s nice to open the new season with a solid performance.

Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) – Final Round 71 (even-par), Total 276 (-8)

It was a great venue to start the year. I really enjoyed my experience here in Singapore.

As for the qualification to The Open, being able to play at a major tournament will be a dream come true! The Open will be my first one and it’s great because there are so many big names playing there. I played in the Junior Open Championship before, when it was held at London Links. It has been a long journey since.

Everyone had a similar journey. We played junior golf, some went to college and some like me, turned professional. But we all share the same goal, that is to play in the majors and on the biggest stage in golf. The Asian Tour is a good start to do all that, as it gives opportunities to young guys like me and I’m grateful for that.

Danthai Boonma (Tha) – Final Round 73 (+2), Total 276 (-8)

I struggled with the putter in the front nine of fourth round and made three-putts on a couple of holes. At hole three, I hit the ball into water and it cost me a double bogey, so it’s not a good start for the final round.

In the back nine I played better as I chipped in for birdie at the 14th to get my momentum back. I also scored another birdie at 16th. But it is disappointing to finish with a bogey after three-putting. 

I am glad and honored to earn the place for The 147th Open at Carnoustie by finishing tied-third at the SMBC Singapore Open. It is an early birthday present for me.

Scores after round 4 of the SMBC Singapore Open being played at the par 71, 7398 Yards Sentosa GC course (am – denotes amateur):

270 – Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 66-70-66-68.

275 – Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN) 66-72-66-71, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 69-67-69-70.

276 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 71-68-66-71, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 70-68-65-73.

277 – Sean CROCKER (USA) 71-70-67-69, Cameron DAVIS (AUS) 68-70-69-70.

278 – Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 71-69-68-70, Gavin GREEN (MAS) 71-67-69-71, Berry HENSON (USA) 70-72-71-65, Lucas HERBERT (AUS) 68-70-69-71.

279 – Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 70-69-69-71, Yuki INAMORI (JPN) 70-70-67-72, ANDY ZHANG (am, CHN) 72-66-71-70, Danny MASRIN (INA) 71-66-67-75.

280 – LIANG Wenchong (CHN) 69-70-72-69, CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 70-69-71-70, Gregory FOO (am, SIN) 69-69-69-73, Ryo ISHIKAWA (JPN) 69-66-74-71, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 71-64-68-77.

281 – Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 71-70-70-70, Pat PEREZ (USA) 70-72-71-68.

282 – Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN) 69-71-71-71, Ben LEONG (MAS) 70-68-73-71, Hiroshi IWATA (JPN) 69-69-74-70, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 70-67-71-74.

283 – Yoshinori FUJIMOTO (JPN) 68-72-71-72, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 68-70-72-73, Ryuko TOKIMATSU (JPN) 70-71-68-74, Koumei ODA (JPN) 68-70-71-74, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 66-72-75-70, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 66-70-72-75.

Ends.

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf

www.youtube.com/theasiantour

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Sentosa, Singapore, January 20: Thai players Danthai Boonma and Chapchai Nirat currently lead the weather-disrupted SMBC Singapore.

Only six players completed round three, which was suspended due to bad weather.

Danthai finished 15 holes before play was suspended at 6.20pm local time. He fired six birdies against a lone bogey to bring his current total to nine-under-par.

Chapchai, who started round three with a seven-under-par 135 total, brought his score down even further after totaling two-under-par through nine holes.

Seven players are currently tied-third at seven-under par. The group includes Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and South Africa’s Shaun Norris as well as Ryo Ishikawa.

Jazz was enjoying a bogey-free round before the sirens sounded. He fired four birdies through 17 holes.

Norris made a double bogey on the par-five fourth, but that was offset with three consecutive birdies on holes sixth, seventh and eighth.

Japan’s “Bashful Prince” got off to a great start to his third round with two consecutive birdies on his opening two holes. He bounced back with another birdie after a double bogey on the third. He dropped a shot at the seventh for a total of seven-under-par through nine holes.

62 players will resume round three on Sunday, 7.40am Singapore time.

Did you know: 

  • Danthai Boonma played in last year’s SMBC Singapore Open. After a decent start, he wasn’t able to shoot another round in the 60s. Danthai eventually finished tied-23rd.
  • He enjoyed four top-10 finishes in 2017. Twice in Thailand (Thailand Open and Royal Cup), once in Chinese Taipei (Mercuries Taiwan Masters) and once in Indonesia (Indonesia Open).
  • Danthai is ranked fifth on the Asian Tour in 2017 for total number of birdies. He scored 247 last year.
  • In his previous SMBC Singapore Open appearance in 2016, Chapchai Nirat finished commendably in tied-eighth. His best-scoring holes were at 10th (birdie-birdie-par-birdie) and 18th (par-birdie-birdie-eagle).
  • Jazz Janewattananond lost his Asian Tour at the end of 2016 and missed the mark at Qualifying School in 2017. Although, that didn’t stop him from winning his maiden Asian Tour title at the 2017 Bashundhara Bangladesh Open.
  • He credited his victory at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open to his two-week stint as a monk, which helped develop his mental game.
  • Ryo Ishikawa was in a rut in the middle of last year as he missed cuts at six consecutive events from May to July. He bounced back towards the end of the year, highlighted by his tied-second finish at the Casio World Open, a tournament on the Japan Golf Tour.

Player Interviews:

Danthai Boonma (Tha) – nine-under-par through 15 holes

I played very well today, especially my putting. I’m just going to rest tonight to prepare for the long day. I must be focused and stick to my plan. I’ll just think about my swing, smile and have fun.

Chapchai Nirat (Tha) – nine-under-par through nine holes

I’m still adopting the same approach coming into round three. That is, to use the tournament to experiment and adapt to my swing. I won’t be overthinking about the tournament, just going to enjoy the experience here.

Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) – seven-under-par through 17 holes

I quite satisfied with my round so far and I would say that almost everything went well. My driver’s pretty good. My approach shot is good, as I hit it close a lot. Playing with Poom (Saksansin) was quite inspiring as he was making very good putts today. I’m not distracted by the rain. I like it actually, as I get to rest more.

Shaun Norris (Rsa) – seven-under-par through 10 holes

I hit the ball nicely. But for the fourth hole where I made a double after I made a bad decision on the second shot. But other than that, I’m quite happy with my game. It’s a little distracting with the weather disruptions but at least, for everybody, it’s the same. We just have to accept it and move on.

Scores after round 3 of the SMBC Singapore Open being played at the par 71, 7398 Yards Sentosa GC course (am – denotes amateur):

211 – Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN) 69-71-71, Yoshinori FUJIMOTO (JPN) 68-72-71.

213 – Jesse YAP (am, SIN) 68-72-73.

214 – Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 70-70-74, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 73-67-74.

217 – Seungtaek LEE (KOR) 74-65-78.

Ends.

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. 

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf

www.youtube.com/theasiantour

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf

 

More News