Jakarta, December 14: Thai rising star Jazz Janewattananond proved his credentials as the newest Asia’s number one by firing a scintillating 10-under-par 62 to seize the third-round lead at the BNI Indonesian Masters supported by Bank BRI and MedcoEnergi on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Thai, who is enjoying a stellar season with two wins and six top-10s, blazed the course with two eagles and seven birdies against a bogey to lead by one shot over countryman Gunn Charoenkul on 16-under-par 200 total at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
Jazz, world’s highest-ranked Thai in 57th place on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), is chasing a career fifth Asian Tour title and a third one this season at the popular US$750,000 event, which forms the third leg of the 2019/20 Panasonic Swing.
With a total of 20 OWGR points on offer in what is the flagship event of the Asian Tour this week, Jazz will need to win the 2019 BNI Indonesian Masters to break into the world’s top-50 at the end of the season and secure his berth at The Masters next April.
Gunn, seeking his Asian Tour breakthrough, returned with three birdies in his closing four holes to grab second place while veteran Keith Horne of South Africa remained in contention for his maiden win on the region’s premier Tour after battling to a 71 to take third place on 203.
PGA Tour winner Alex Cejka of Germany, who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation this week, posted a 70 to settle four shots off the pace in fourth while overnight leader Josh Younger of Australia slipped to tied-fifth on 205 following a disappointing 74.
Danny Masrin emerged as the highest-placed Indonesian in tied-10th place on 207 after signing for a commendable 68 in the event, which is celebrating its ninth straight edition on the Asian Tour this week.
The winner of the 2019 BNI Indonesian Masters will also receive a coveted spot in the World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2020.
Did you know?
- Jazz Janewattananond tied the lowest 18-hole score in the tournament history with his third-round 62. Justin Rose of England carded two 62s in 2017 while Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung closed with a similar 62 in the last edition.
- Jazz opened with two successive birdies from the first before going on to birdie the fourth. He three-putted for bogey on sixth but a birdie on the eighth sparked a hot stretch as he nailed two eagles and two birdies in his next seven holes before closing with another one on 18.
- Jazz hit a total of 17 greens in his brilliant round of 62 today. He amassed 28 putts in total.
- Jazz sealed the 2019 Habitat for Humanity Standings crown last week after his closest rival Scott Hend of Australia opted not to tee up at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, making his Merit lead unassailable with only two events left to play for the 2019 season.
- The 24-year-old Jazz is the fourth Thai after Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant and Kiradech Aphibarnrat to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
- Jazz will be looking to break into the world’s top-50 by the end of the season to secure his place at The Masters next April. A win at the BNI Indonesian Masters will help him achieve the feat.
- Jazz closed with an eagle on the 18th to finish second on his own at the 2018 BNI Indonesian Masters.
- Jazz was also crowned the 2019 Rookie of the Year following a commendable season on the Japan Golf Tour.
- 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.
- By finishing tied-seventh at this event, Gunn missed qualifying for The Open by the narrowest of margins, only one shot. He would redeem himself a few months later when a tied-third place finish at the Gate Way To The Open Mizuno Open on the Japan Golf Tour secured his place at Royal Portrush, his first appearance in a Major.
- Gunn has spent most of this season playing on the Japan Golf Tour where he has racked up 10 top-10 finishes, including a tied-fourth at last week’s season ending Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, finishing 21st in the Money Rankings for the year.
- The Thai’s best career result on the Asian Tour is a second-place finish in the 2016 Queen’s Cup when he finished one shot back of winner Scott Hend of Australia.
- Keith Horne of South Africa locked up his Asian Tour card for 2020 earlier in the season, thanks to two top-10 finishes in India and Chinese Taipei. He sits in 38th place on the current Order of Merit.
- Horne has won nine tournaments on the Sunshine Tour, the latest of those wins came in 2017 at the Vodacom Origins – Arabella.
- That same year, he also had his best result in an Asian Tour event finishing tied-second at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, improving on his previous best of three tied-third finishes.
- The 48-year-old South African turned pro in 1996 and has been a regular figure on the Asian Tour since 2003. His best season to date was in 2010 when he finished 14th on the Order of Merit.