Sentosa, Singapore, January 15: Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond is ready to light up the stage again as he aims to become the second player in the history books of the Singapore Open to successfully defend his title when the SMBC Singapore Open starts on Thursday.
It has been more than a decade since Australia’s Adam Scott retained the iconic Singapore Open title at the Serapong Course in Sentosa Golf Club in 2005 and 2006, which is also the Home of the Asian Tour.
But with the form that the 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion is currently enjoying, he is once again expected to be one of the favourites for the Singapore showpiece, which continues to be part of The Open Qualifying Series for the fourth consecutive year.
Jazz enjoyed a season like no other in 2019 when he swept aside all his rivals with four victories along with capturing the coveted Order of Merit trophy.
Korea’s Doyeob Mun, who secured one of the four spots to The Open at the SMBC Singapore Open last year, still holds vivid memories of his last outing to the Lion City and is relishing the challenges at the Serapong course again.
Singapore’s highest ranked professional Quincy Quek is also back on home soil along with promising amateur James Leow, ready to fly the country’s flag.
Quek, a two-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner, emerged as the best amateur at the 2007 edition while Leow won the South East Asian (SEA) Games individual Gold medal in Philippines last December.
Did you know?
- In 14 Asian Tour starts last season, Jazz Janewattananond won four times, had eight top-fives and finished inside the top-10 on 10 occasions, or a 28.6% win, 57.1% top-five and 71.4% top-10 percentage.
- He became only the second player in Asian Tour history to win four events in the same season. The only player to do so previously was compatriot Thaworn Wiratchant in 2005.
- Jazz surpassed US$1,000,000 in earnings last season. Before that, this record had only been achieved by Jeev Milkha Singh (2008), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (2013), Anirban Lahiri (2015) and Scott Hend (2016).
- With his results and Order of Merit win in 2019, Jazz will be exempt for three out of the four Majors in 2020, the Masters Tournament, PGA Championship and the Open. He has also qualified for two of the World Golf Championships- WGC-Mexico and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
- Apart from winning the coveted 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit title, Jazz was also voted as the Players’ Player of the Year.
- He topped the statistics categories for Lowest Stroke Average with his record of 68.28 strokes and Total Birdies made with 265 from a total of 15 tournaments throughout his season on the Asian Tour.
- Jazz started off his season with a fourth-placed finish at the Hong Kong Open last week.
- Doyeob Mun enjoyed a tied-fifth place finish at the 2019 SMBC Singapore Open, which helped him secure one of the four spots on offer to The 148th Open where he made his Major debut last July.
- Mun had made an albatross on the par-five fourth hole at the Serapong course last year to sign for a second round 65. It was the first and only one recorded in the 2019 Asian Tour season.
- The 28-year-old Korean enjoyed another top-10 finish in Chinese Taipei in September and finished in 39th place on the 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit to retain his playing rights for the 2020 season.
- Singapore’s highest ranked professional, Quincy Quek (496th on the OWGR) is coming off his best season as a professional.
- In 2019, Quek won two titles, the PGM Northport ADT Championship on the Asian Development Tour and the Haikou Classic on the PGA Tour Series China.
- Two years ago, Quek welcomed the birth of his daughter, Olivia on the Monday of the SMBC Singapore Open week. He finished tied-26th for the tournament, which remains his best result at the SMBC Singapore Open so far.
- Singapore’s James Leow, who won the individual gold medal at the 2019 SEA games and
- also finished tied-fifth at the 2019 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, is playing in his second competitive event of the year this week.
- Leow teed up at the Hong Kong Open last week where he finished in tied-65th
- The leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top 12 and ties on the final leaderboard will earn coveted spots at the 149th Open at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent, England from July 16-19.