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Stenson supports environmental campaign


Sentosa, Singapore, January 19: Major Champion and multiple Tour winner, Henrik Stenson, has been inspired by a global environmental campaign this week from SMBC Singapore Open host venue, Sentosa Golf Club.

The golfing superstar, who is playing in his second Singapore Open this week, caught up with the team at Sentosa Golf Club to discuss the role golf can play in stopping the effects of climate change and learn more about their latest environmental campaign, called GAME ON.

It’s an issue becoming ever more relevant for Stenson, who recently unveiled his own golf course design intentions with the opening of a new 18 hole course at Österåker Golf Club, north of Stockholm.

Of the eco-friendly measures he was introduced to by Andrew Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy at Sentosa Golf Club, Stenson was particularly impressed by the club’s plans for a food and horticultural digester, which can grind down waste to be used as fertiliser on the golf courses.

Stenson said: “That’s unbelievable, super impressive. So, when you’re playing your shot and you take a divot who knows what might be in there!

“The water savings through the single head sprinkler system is also pretty neat. It’s a massive saving and something I will definitely consider in my future course designs. At my first course we’re already saving water by carefully monitoring the rough areas we grow up, but there’s potential for loads for more efficiency.”

GAME ON is designed to unite Sentosa with golf’s major stakeholders and the global golfing community to tackle the global threat of climate change.

It’s model that aims to educate and inspire the global golfing community, creating a more socially conscious industry and consumer, who will be better prepared to introduce modern sustainability practices that will reduce golf club’s environmental impact, as well as improving the quality of facilities on offer throughout the world.

The model, which will become available in March as a free downloadable toolkit from the Sentosa Golf Club website, has been developed by one of the world’s leading agronomists, Andrew Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy at Sentosa Golf Club, who has more than 30 years of experience in golf operations. Johnston is also one of the leading figures in the golf industry when it comes to sustainability, helping Sentosa to become one of the most recognised eco-friendly golf facilities in the world through the measures he has implemented.

With over 61 million golfers and 39,000 golf courses worldwide, GAME ON will help the industry to unite and work together to reduce golf’s carbon footprints, making it one of the leading industries to help make a difference on climate change.

In recent years, Sentosa Golf Club has increased exposure for its own sustainable initiatives through the development of its #KeepItGreen campaign, which launched at the 2018 SMBC Singapore Open. Under its umbrella, which now includes GAME ON, the club continues to undertake wide-ranging actions to reduce its environmental footprint, both on and off the course.

Speaking about the launch of GAME ON this week at the SMBC Singapore Open, Andrew Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy at Sentosa Golf Club, said “GAME ON will target the relevant issues that both golf and the world faces in its fight against climate change. Sentosa Golf Club is proud to be at the forefront of this campaign and hope to create a legacy with golf’s leading organisations and community that will have a huge bearing on our future. Being able to launch the GAME ON campaign at an event like the SMBC Singapore Open is crucial to allowing us to spread our message to a wider international audience and encourage change within the game of golf. We’ll also hope the GAME ON model will be supported by some of the game’s most influential stakeholders, and we look forward to working with them in the future to assist wherever we can.”

Stenson added: “Spending time at Sentosa Golf Club this week has definitely made me think more about the importance of sustainability in golf course design. Their campaign is certainly inspiring the world of golf to front up, take action, and play its part in stopping the very real threat of climate change. This sport should act now, and I’d say it’s very much game on for the golf industry.

“Some of the modern-day sustainable practices implemented here by Andrew and his team are mind blowing. I’m impressed with their willingness to share this knowledge through the campaign, educate and inspire others. Many of the measures are so simple, which I can take and utilise for my first golf course design, and the ones I have planned for the future.

“What the club is doing here deserves huge credit and praise. They are at the forefront of the golf industry and an example to us all with their green agenda. It’s amazing to see a golf club so dedicated and committed to making an impact on the world stage.”

The 2020 SMBC Singapore Open, which is at the halfway stage, is the one of the biggest tournaments on the Asian Tour schedule this year, with Stenson joined by the two other 2016 Rio Olympic medallists, Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar, who are both two shots off the lead.  That lead is currently held by defending champion, Jazz Janewattananond, who has clearly been enjoying his time on Sentosa’s Serapong course once again this week.

Ends.


Sentosa, Singapore, January 15: Asian Tour players joined Sentosa Golf Club this week for a spot of beekeeping, helping the club unveil its intentions for a new campaign called GAME ON, designed to make the golfing community aware of the global threat of climate change.

Local Singaporean players James Leow, Quincy Quek, Koh Deng Shan and Japanese player, Naoki Sekito, took a break from their preparations at the SMBC Singapore Open to learn more about the beekeeping practice, used by Sentosa Golf Club as one of its environmental initiatives.

The bee population is declining, down by 70% worldwide. With one third of food we eat relying on pollination by bees, Sentosa Golf Club believes that creating just a few colonies on a golf course can make a difference. With four colonies in existence currently, the club has ambitions to grow to 40 within 12 months.

The players even donned beekeeping suits and took on the iconic 4th hole on The New Tanjong, the location of Sentosa’s bee sanctuary, which is managed by local professional beekeeper, John Chong, from Bee Amazed.

Voted the ‘World’s Best Golf Club’ at the World Golf Awards, the host venue of the SMBC Singapore Open has revealed GAME ON, a model that will educate and inspire the golf industry and better equip them to introduce modern sustainability practices, reducing a golf club’s environmental impact, as well as improving the quality of facilities on offer throughout the world.

The model, which will become available in March as a free downloadable toolkit from the Sentosa Golf Club website, has been developed by one of the world’s leading agronomists, Andrew Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy at Sentosa Golf Club, who has more than 30 years of experience in golf operations. Johnston is also one of the leading figures in the golf industry when it comes to sustainability, helping Sentosa to become one of the most recognised eco-friendly golf facilities in the world through the measures he has implemented.

With over 61 million golfers and 39,000 golf courses worldwide, GAME ON will help the industry to unite and work together to reduce golf’s carbon footprint, making it one of the leading industries to help make a difference on climate change.

In recent years, Sentosa Golf Club has increased exposure for its own sustainable initiatives through the development of the #KeepItGreen campaign, which launched at the 2018 SMBC Singapore Open, and has now become a way of life at the club. Under its umbrella, Sentosa continues to undertake a wide range of actions to reduce its environmental footprint, both on and off the course.

Speaking about the launch of GAME ON at the SMBC Singapore Open, Andrew Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy at Sentosa Golf Club, said: “GAME ON will target the relevant issues that both golf and the world faces in its fight against climate change. Sentosa Golf Club is proud to be at the forefront of this campaign and hope to create a legacy with golf’s leading organisations and community that will have a huge bearing on our future. Being able to launch the GAME ON campaign at an event like the SMBC Singapore Open is crucial to allowing us to spread our message to a wider international audience and encourage change within the game of golf.

“As for bees, we often hear the saying that the end of bees will signal the end of the world, so we’re really proud to be able to showcase this technique through our sanctuary here at the club and look forward to seeing it grow in the months to come.”

Talking about his experience at Sentosa’s bee colonies, Quincy Quek, one of Singapore’s rising golf stars, said: “Never for a moment when I arrived here at Sentosa Golf Club did I think I would get to experience beekeeping. I didn’t even realise they had bee colonies here! It’s a really nice green initiative they have, one which is so simple for other clubs to implement and I learned how it can really make a difference. It also made me think how important it is to consider the impact golf is having on climate change and how we can do our bit to tackle the issue. It’s an important one for my generation to understand, even more so for the next generation coming through.”

Ends.


Pattaya, Thailand, December 21: Thailand’s Jazz Janewattanond stormed up the leaderboard with a sensational 11-under-par 60 to take a one-shot lead over Belgium’s Thomas Detry after the third round of the season-ending Thailand Masters on Saturday.

After rounds of 69 and 67 at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, Jazz finally shook off his lethargy to find himself in a familiar position atop the leaderboard again with his three-day total of 17-under-par 196.

Detry remained in outright second place for the second consecutive day after he returned with a 66 while overnight leader Phachara Khongwatmai slipped to third place with a 69.

American Sihwan Kim signed for a 66 to head into the final round in fourth place while Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena made his move by returning with a 65 to share fifth place with the Thai trio of Gunn Charoenkul, Panuphol Pittayarat and Suteepat Prateeptienchai.

Playing in his last event for the year, Jazz roared back to life just like how he did in Jakarta last weekend.

The 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion started the day six shots off the pace in tied-19th place but flew under the radar very quickly when he birdied the second hole before going on a seven-hole birdie blitz starting from the par-four six.

The 24-year-old lit up his card again with another birdie on 15 before play was suspended for close to two hours due to lightning activities.

When it resumed, Jazz birdied 16 and 17 before signing off for the day with a par on 18.

PATTAYA-THAILAND – Thomas Detry of Belgium pictured on Saturday December 21 during round three of the Thailand Masters, promoted by the Jaidee Foundation at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand – December 19-22, 2019, a USD$ 500.000 Asian Tour event. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

Did you know?

  • Jazz Janewattananond is playing in his 35th tournament of the year.
  • In his 11-birdie round of 60, Jazz hit 11/14 fairways, 15/18 greens and only needed 23 putts (1.33 putts per greens-in-regulation).
  • With a win this week, the 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion would go to 40th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), one week after cracking the world top-50 for the first time in his career.
  • By virtue of his phenomenal play this year, Jazz will be exempt for three out of the four Majors in 2020, the Masters Tournament, PGA Championship and the Open.
  • He has also already qualified for two of the World Golf Championships, WGC-Mexico and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
  • Thomas Detry came very close to winning his first event on a major Tour two weeks ago, finishing tied-fourth at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open just one stroke out of the playoff.
  • The Belgian also had a high finish in November when he came in tied-third at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, one of European Tour’s Rolex Series events.
  • Thanks to these two top finishes lately the 26-year-old now finds himself in a career high OWGR ranking of 130th, a win this week would put him very close to breaking into the top-100 for the first time.
  • Other top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season includes tied-eight finishes in both the Amundi Open de France and Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, and a tied-ninth at the Trophee Hassan II early in the season.
  • Phachara Khongwatmai is coming off three straight top-six finishes on the Asian Tour, with a tied-fifth at last week’s BNI Indonesian Masters, tied-second after a play-off loss at the Sabah Masters, and a tied-sixth at the Thailand Open.
  • The 20-year-old Thai has a total of five top-10s this season, with tied-eight-place finishes at the Yeangder TPC and GS Caltex Maekyung Open to add to the events above.
  • This summer he won the GolfSixes Cascais in Portugal, a two-player team event on the European Tour, together with compatriot, and this week’s host, Thongchai Jaidee.
  • Last year, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines won the Queen’s Cup Hosted by Jaidee Foundation, the predecessor to the Thailand Masters which is also hosted by Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee.
  • Plagued by an injury early in the season, Tabuena came back strongly after the summer break with a fifth-place finish at the Sarawak Championship, and a tied-second at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters where he was one shot behind the winner.
  • Currently 13th on the Order of Merit with just over US$157,000 in earnings, he had his best Asian Tour season in 2016 when he was ranked fifth with over US$525,000 in official money.

Ends.


Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) Third round 60 (-11) Total 196 (-17)
I didn’t even know my score until I walked into the score recording area. I was wondering why everyone was asking me if I had birdied the last hole until I realized I was just one shot away from a 59. To be honest, my mind was pretty blank even when I sank birdie after birdie. I knew I was playing good and my putting was good. I just know I needed to hit onto the green and my putter will take care of everything else. I didn’t expect my round to be so good as I’m really tired. I was struggling to finish in my first two rounds. Luckily play was suspended for a while today and I managed to get some rest. It’s my last event of the year and I’ll just give it my best tomorrow.

Thomas Detry (Bel) Third round 66 (-5) Total 197 (-16)
My round is pretty average compared to Jazz. I saw his name creeping up the leaderboard and he was unbelievable. He was just one shot short of 59. I played pretty good but it could have been better. I think tomorrow’s going to be a big day. I beat Jazz twice in the first two days and I’m planning on beating him again tomorrow. He’s a great player and a really nice guy and it will be a fun battle tomorrow. But there are still several other good players around and I’m sure lots of things will happen tomorrow.

PATTAYA-THAILAND – Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand pictured on Saturday December 21 during round three of the Thailand Masters, promoted by the Jaidee Foundation at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand – December 19-22, 2019, a USD$ 500.000 Asian Tour event. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) Third round 69 (-2) Total 199 (-14)
On the front-nine, I missed just a little bit with my driver and got very bad lies, and then Istruggled a little bit with my putter. It was very tough with the pin positions today. I missed on the bad side, and then it was difficult to make birdies. But it’s ok I had a good finish with two birdies in the last three holes. Tomorrow, my key is just my putting. If I make a lot of putts, maybe I have a chance. But I just need to play my own game and not think too far ahead.

Miguel Tabuena (Phi) Third round 65 (-6) Total 201 (-12)
To be honest, I’m not surprised with the way Jazz has played today. We are so used to seeing his name on the top of the leaderboard and today was no different. It’s pretty crazy with the kind of golf he’s playing now. He’s number one on the Order of Merit for a reason. But for me, I’m pretty happy with how I got myself back into this tournament. Anything can happen in golf and it depends on how they set up the pin positions tomorrow too. I’m still in contention and hopefully something special can happen.


Pattaya, Thailand, December 20: Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai knows he has to continue to stay patient after carding a second round seven-under-par 64 to hold a one-shot lead over Belgium’s Thomas Detry at the season-ending Thailand Masters on Friday.

While he has yet to achieve his breakthrough on the Asian Tour, the 20-year-old Thai remains optimistic of his chances as he is coming into the week on the back of a rich vein of form with three top-six finishes in his last three events.

Starting his round on the 10th hole, Phachara stormed off the blocks quickly with two birdies in his opening three holes. He added another birdie on 16 before storming home with four more birdies to sign for a two-day total of 12-under-par 130 at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

Overnight leader Detry beat fatigue to remain in contention by returning with a 68 to take second place while Thai rookie Kosuke Kamamoto also put himself in the mix by matching Phachara’s 64 for outright third place.

Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-hsuan showed his promising talent when he carded a 67 to make his move up the leaderboard in the morning.

Wang turned professional only this year and showed he could be one of the rising stars to look out as he heads into the weekend tied for fourth.

The weekend cut was set at two-under-par with 84 players progressing into the final two rounds.

PATTAYA-THAILAND – Thomas Detry of Belgium pictured on Friday December 20 during round two of the Thailand Masters, promoted by the Jaidee Foundation at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand – December 19-22, 2019, a USD$ 500.000 Asian Tour event. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

Did you know?

  • Phachara Khongwatmai is coming off three straight top-six finishes on the Asian Tour, with a tied-fifth at last week’s BNI Indonesian Masters, tied-second after a play-off loss at the Sabah Masters, and a tied-sixth at the Thailand Open.
  • He hit 15 out of 18 greens and had 27 putts in a bogey free seven-under-par 64 today.
  • The 20-year-old Thai has a total of five top-10s this season, with tied-eight-place finishes at the Yeangder TPC and GS Caltex Maekyung Open to add to the events above.
  • This summer he won the GolfSixes Cascais in Portugal, a two-player team event on the European Tour, together with compatriot, and this week’s host, Thongchai Jaidee.
  • Phachara came into prominence when he won the 2015 PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship to become the youngest ADT winner at the age of 15.
  • He enjoyed his best season to date on the Asian Tour in 2017 when he finished third on the Order of Merit.
  • Thomas Detry came very close to winning his first event on a major Tour two weeks ago, finishing tied-fourth at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open just one stroke out of the playoff.
  • The Belgian also had a high finish in November when he came in tied-third at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, one of European Tour’s Rolex Series events.
  • Thanks to these two top finishes lately the 26-year-old now finds himself in a career high OWGR ranking of 130th, a win this week would put him very close to breaking into the top-100 for the first time.
  • Other top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season includes tied-eight finishes in both the Amundi Open de France and Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, and a tied-ninth at the Trophee Hassan II early in the season.
  • Kosuke Hamamoto is playing in his first Asian Tour season after graduating Qualifying School last December in tied-21st place.
  • The Thai came close to winning the Yeangder TPC in Chinese Taipei in September when he finished runner-up three strokes behind the winner.
  • He also had a tied-10th the previous week in Indonesia and has comfortably kept his card for the 2020 Asian Tour season with just over US$96,000 in earnings.
  • Kosuke is still in the running for the Rookie of the Year, and a win this week could see him clinch the award.
  • He hit 15 out of 18 greens and had 27 putts in a bogey free seven-under-par 64.
  • Wang Wei-hsuan from Chinese Taipei is in his first year as a professional and has posted two top-10s so far this season. A tied-third at the Haikou Classic and a fifth-place finish at the Qinhuangdao Championship.
  • The 20-year-old has played two Asian Tour events previously this season, with a tied-25th in the Yeangder TPC as his best result. He also finished tied-29th in last month’s Thailand Open.
  • As Wang is a non-member playing this week on a sponsor’s exemption, he will need a win this week to secure playing rights for the 2020 Asian Tour season.

Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) Second round 64 (-7) Total 130 (-12)
I was very focused the last two days. I told myself not to get distracted and just concentrate on my game. Even when I made a mistake, I told myself to just forget it and move on. Just play better on the next hole. I’ve my friends and family with me this week and that’s important. They cheer me and I feel very motivated. I try not to think about winning yet although I know I’m in a good position now. Most important is to stay focused again this weekend and hopefully, something good will happen.

Thomas Detry (Bel) Second round 68 (-3) Total 131 (-11)
Although I finished with a bogey, I’m still in a very good position heading into the weekend rounds. I have not been feeling too well and I got tired towards the end of my round. But I’m still happy with the way I finished. I was one-under at one point but managed to make some birdies to lift myself up back into the game again. I’m going to have a good night sleep now and be fresh for the weekend.

Kosuke Hamamoto (Tha) Second round 64 (-7) Total 132 (-10)
It’s really nice to see my name up there on the leaderboard especially after missing the cut in Jakarta last week. Ball striking wise, there was not much difference but I did well with my putter. I actually forgot to bring my original putter to the course this week but I managed to find one at the back of my car and my caddie just asked me to try that putter. Once I tried it, I felt good and I’ve been using that putter ever since. Even though I’ve not won anything yet, I’m very pleased with my consistency. I just want to do my best for this week and let the rest take care of it by itself.

Wang Wei-hsuan (Tpe) Second round 67 (-4) Total 133 (-9)
I just turned professional this year and it has been a huge learning curve so far. I’m happy with how I’ve played so far and it’s good when you have a chance to play against some very good players in the field this week. I’m playing on a sponsor’s invitation this week and want to make good use of this opportunity. I want to benchmark myself against these good players and see where my game stands. So far, it has been very good.

Haydn Porteous (Rsa) Second round 66 (-5) Total 134 (-8)
This is my first time in Thailand and I’m loving every minute of it. Everything has been very well organized and the weather’s awesome. And obviously playing good golf here also helps. It has been a tough couple of seasons for me. It has been really slow but I’m slowly but surely finding back my game. It’s really pleasing to see my name up there for now. When Thongchai askes you to come, it’s really really hard to turn a nice guy like him down. I’m going to spend Christmas and New Year in Thailand.


Pattaya, Thailand, December 20: Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-hsuan showed his promising talent when he carded a second round four-under-par 67 to make his move up the leaderboard at the season-ending Thailand Masters on Friday.

The 20-year-old turned professional only this year and showed he could be one of the rising stars of the game to look out for if he continues to play to his full potential.

With an eye on earning his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School next month, Wang is keeping his focus on getting a good result at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club first.

“I just turned professional this year and it has been a huge learning curve so far. I’m happy with how I’ve played so far and it’s good when you have a chance to play against some very good players in the field this week.

“I’m playing on a sponsor’s invitation this week and want to make good use of this opportunity. I want to benchmark myself against these good players and see where my game stands. So far, it has been very good,” said Wang.

South Africa’s Haydn Porteous also ensured he would head into the weekend rounds in the mix after signing for a 66.

Porteous is searching for his first win since 2017 and is pleased to see glimpses of his old form returning.

“This is my first time in Thailand and I’m loving every minute of it. And obviously playing good golf here also helps. It has been a tough couple of seasons for me. It has been really slow but I’m slowly but surely finding back my game. It’s really pleasing to see my name up there for now,” said Porteous.


Pattaya, Thailand, December 19: Belgium’s Thomas Detry took the early honours by opening with an eight-under-par 63 to grab the first round lead at the season-ending Thailand Masters on Thursday.

Detry, who is enjoying his week away home where the harsh winter conditions are hitting, sprinted towards the turn with three birdies on holes 10, 13 and 16 in his starting back-nine 10.

The Belgian then continued his birdie blitz on holes one, three, six, seven and nine to return with a bogey-free 63 for a one-shot lead over Thailand’s Settee Prakongvech at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

Prakongvech, who is currently in 93rd place on the Order of Merit, knows he needs a very good result to move inside the top-61 place and secure his card for next season.

It is the last chance saloon for the 25-year-old as he is determined to close the year with a grandstand finish in front of his friends and family.

American Berry Henson signed for a 65 to restore some much needed confidence after only securing one top-10 this year in Korea.

Henson mixed his card with seven birdies and one bogey to stay two shots back of Detry together with Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul in tied-third place.

Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai, who is chasing his Asian Tour breakthrough this week, posted a 65, trailing Detry by three shots in a share of fifth place which also included Indonesia’s Rory Hie.

PATTAYA-THAILAND – Settee Prakongvech of Thailand pictured on Thursday December 18 during round one of the Thailand Masters, promoted by the Jaidee Foundation at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand – December 19-22, 2019, a USD$ 500.000 Asian Tour event. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

Did you know?

  • Thomas Detry came very close to winning his first event on a major Tour two weeks ago, finishing tied-fourth at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open just one stroke out of the playoff.
  • The Belgian also had a high finish in November when he came in tied-third at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, one of European Tour’s Rolex Series events.
  • Thanks to these two top finishes lately the 26-year-old now finds himself in a career high OWGR ranking of 130th, a win this week would put him very close to breaking into the top-100 for the first time.
  • Other top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season includes tied-eight finishes in both the Amundi Open de France and Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, and a tied-ninth at the Trophee Hassan II early in the season.
  • Settee Prakongvech’s best result in 2019 was achieved at the Panasonic Open India where he finished tied-eight.
  • Berry Henson is a one-time winner on both the Asian Tour and the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in 2011.
  • His best result this year was at the Kolon Korea Open where he finished tied-eighth.
  • In his last three events on the Asian Tour, Phachara Khongwatmai has posted three top-10s with a tied-sixth, tied-second and tied-fifth finish at the Thailand Open, Sabah Masters and BNI Indonesian Masters respectively.
  • Phachara came into prominence when he won the 2015 PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship to become the youngest ADT winner at the age of 15.
  • The Thai grabbed the last Asian Tour card on offer in 2015 when he won his second ADT title at the season-ending event to take the fifth spot on the ADT Order of Merit.
  • Phachara finished a career-high third place on the Asian Tour Merit standings in 2017, thanks to four top-five finishes which include three runner-up results.
  • Rory Hie is the first Indonesian to win a title on the Asian Tour with his wire-to-wire victory at the Classic Golf & Country Club International Championship in September.

Ends.


Thomas Detry (Bel) First round 63 (-8)
It’s beautiful to be here in Thailand as the weather’s pretty horrible back home. It gets dark at 3.30 in the afternoon and the sun is up at 10 and we get so much rain and wind. The course is in great condition and Thongchai is taking good care of me. I’m having a blast so far. I’m not getting ahead of myself as there’s still three more rounds to go and there are lots of good players here. The strength of the field is good and I just have to stay patient. And if I keep playing like that for the next three days, I’ll have a good chance. This week is also very much like a holiday and I guess it helps to keep myself relaxed while having fun at the same time.

Settee Prakongvech (Tha) First round 64 (-7)
It was a good round and I hit and putted the ball really well. I know this is my last chance to secure my Asian Tour card and I hope something good will come my way this week. I need a really big finish, maybe finishing inside the top-three or win. But anything can happen in golf and I’m hopeful of miracles.

Berry Henson (Usa) First round 65 (-6)
I cannot complain as my goal was to shoot five-under today. I got to six but I didn’t really feel like a six-under round. I got a few good breaks, made some bad putts that went in. So it was kind of a sneaky 65 today, but I’ll take it anytime. I only had one top-10 this year but I did also play some decent golf this year. I made some adjustments to my game and I’m trying to get ready for next season. I had a couple of new clubs in the bag and just trying to build the confidence again. It has been quite low recently and I’m trying to get back that self-belief. But things are moving in the right direction and if I can continue doing that in the next few days, it will great for my game.

Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) First round 66 (-5)
My tee shots were very good today and if I can find the same feeling I have with my driver for my putter, it’ll be awesome. I just need to stay focus each day and hopefully the result will come. I had several top-10s in my last few events and I can feel my form is coming back. I want to get my first win on the Asian Tour.

Rory Hie (Ina) First round 66 (-5)
It’s nice to know you’re playing well again. I’ve been suffering from pain in my thumb for almost a month and I’m on painkillers now. I’m happy they took away the pain from me today and I could play. I took a pretty heavy dose of painkillers. The win in India and how I’ve played in the second half of 2019 just proved to me that I can pursue golf as a profession. If I can continue to bring my second half form over to 2020, I believe I can climb even higher up the rankings.


Pattaya, Thailand, December 18: Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond paid tribute to his country’s golfing legend Thongchai Jaidee for playing an instrumental role in his success as he prepares to tee off in his last event of 2019 at the Thailand Masters which starts on Thursday.

Jazz has enjoyed a sensational season when kicked started the year with a win in Singapore followed by two more other significant victories in Korea and Indonesia last week.

The 24-year-old deservedly sealed the Order of Merit crown as he could not be caught on the money list even with three events left to play at the start of this month.

Just like how he started the year, the Thai is looking for one last hurrah at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club before he takes a well-deserved break.

Compatriot Gunn Charoenkul, who watched in awe as Jazz outclassed him in Jakarta last week, believes a switch in his outlook towards his game and life has led to a very consistent year for him in 2019 as he looks towards closing his season on a high note.

Belgium’s Thomas Detry, who is one of the invited star players for this week, is also seeking a grandstand finish after missing out on his chance to win in two of his last three events.

Thomas Detry of Belgium

Did you know?

  • Jazz is the fourth Thai after Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant and Kiradech Aphibarnrat to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
  • He is also the third Thai after Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat to break into the world’s top-50. Thongchai and Kiradech achieved the feat in 2009 and 2015 respectively.
  • With his victory at the BNI Indonesian Masters last week, Jazz broke the US$2million mark in career earnings on the Asian Tour.
  • Jazz will be the 11th player in history, third one in consecutive years after Shiv Kapur (2017) and John Catlin (2018), to win three titles in a single season on the Asian Tour.
  • Jazz claimed his third Asian Tour title at the season-opening Singapore Open in January to break into the world’s top-100 for the first time in his career. He went on to claim his fourth win in Korea in June before sealing his fifth victory and third one this year at the BNI Indonesian Masters last week.
  • Jazz won his second Asian Tour title at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in June 2018.
  • Gunn Charoenkul of Thailand secured his 2019 Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School last December where he came in runner-up. He quickly posted a top-10 finish at the SMBC Singapore Open, the first event of the season.
  • Gunn spent most of this season playing on the Japan Golf Tour where he notched 10 top-10 finishes, including a tied-fourth finish at their season ending Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, finishing 21st in the Money Rankings for the year.
  • Gunn matched his career best result on the Asian Tour with his runner-up finish at the BNI Indonesian Masters. He last came in runner-up at the 2016 Queen’s Cup, where he finished one shot back of winner Scott Hend of Australia.
  • Thomas Detry came very close to winning his first event on a major Tour two weeks ago, finishing tied-fourth at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open just one stroke out of the playoff.
  • The Belgian also had a high finish in November when he came in tied-third at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, one of European Tour’s Rolex Series events.
  • Thanks to these two top finishes lately the 26-year-old now finds himself in a career high OWGR ranking of 130th, a win this week would put him very close to breaking into the top-100 for the first time.
  • Other top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season includes tied-eight finishes in both the Amundi Open de France and Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, and a tied-ninth at the Trophee Hassan II early in the season.

Ends.

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