19th June 2019 | Asian Tour

Refreshed Jazz aims high at the Kolon Korea Open

Cheonan, Korea, June 19: Thailand’s rising star Jazz Janewattananond will take aim at a fourth Asian Tour title and a second one this season when he tees off for the 62nd Kolon Korea Open Golf Championship at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club on Thursday.

Feeling refreshed and recharged after a week’s break, Jazz is raring to get back into action at the prestigious KRW 1,200 million (approximately US$1,067,000) event, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Korea Golf Association (KGA).

Despite falling just short of qualifying for the U.S. Open last week, Jazz finds positives as he set sights on achieving other goals, which include breaking into the world’s top-50 to qualify for the World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational next month.

Placed second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, the 23-year-old Jazz will also be looking for a fine showing to close the gap on Scott Hend of Australia, a 10-time winner on Tour who is also in the talented 144-man field vying for top honours this week.

Hend, who became the first Australian to be crowned the Asian Tour Order of Merit champion in 2016, is relishing his return to Woo Jeong Hills Country Club for the National Open of Korea where he last played in 2007.

Apart from the all-important Merit race, the 45-year-old Hend is also raring to qualify for The Open at Royal Portrush in July by securing a solid result at the Kolon Korea Open Golf Championship, which is part of The Open Qualifying Series.

Two spots will be awarded to the leading two players (not otherwise exempt) finishing in the top-eight and ties at the event, which is the second of the three Asian Tour events to be played in Korea this year.

Korean hotshot Sanghyun Park, who is set to make his second appearance at The Open next month, will put his course knowledge and past experiences to good use once again in his National Open, where he came in runner-up 12 months ago.

Other notable players include three-time PGA TOUR winner Kevin Na of the United States, defending champion Minchel Choi of Korea, Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe, as well as Thai duo Poom Saksansin and Prom Meesawat.

Did you know?

  • Jazz Janewattananond will be making his second appearance at the Kolon Korea Open Golf Championship this week. He came in tied-32nd last year.
  • The 23-year-old Jazz has been enjoying a great run of form since winning his third Asian Tour title at the season-opener in Singapore in January. Apart from notching four other top-10s to sit in second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Jazz also enjoyed a tied-14th place finish at the PGA Championship.
  • Jazz capped back-to-back top-5 finishes on the Japan Golf Tour in the last three weeks to move to 61st place on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) on June 10 but unfortunately failed to qualify for the U.S. Open after missing the cut-off mark by one rung. He enters the week in 62nd place on the OWGR.
  • Scott Hend of Australia claimed his 10th Asian Tour title at the Maybank Championship in March and became only the second player on Tour, following Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, to break US$5 million in career earnings.
  • Hend topped the Merit rankings previously in 2016. He is the first Australian player to achieve the feat. He leads by about US$56,200 over Jazz on the current money list.
  • Hend last played the Korea Open in 2007 where he finished in tied-55th.
  • Sanghyun Park won twice on the Asian Tour last year. Finished second on the Order of Merit and was crowned the Rookie of the Year.
  • Park has the best recent record in the tournament by anyone in the field this week. He has finished inside the top-10 for the last four consecutive years, including a runner-up result in 2018, two strokes behind defending champion Minchel Choi.
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