Asian Tour merit leader to jazz up Sarawak Championship

Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand will headline the US$300,000 Sarawak Championship when the event returns to Damai Golf & Country Club for its second straight edition this August 15-18.

Jazz, who leads the Order of Merit with his current haul of US$738,093, came in joint runner-up last year after firing a birdie and an eagle in his last three holes to finish one shot shy of winner John Catlin of the United States.

Having already bagged two Asian Tour titles this season, the 23-year-old Thai is looking to ride on his soaring confidence as he challenges for the title again at the Arnold Palmer-designed Damai course located in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak.

“I remember Sarawak being a very nice place. There’s a beautiful beach there and I enjoyed playing that course last year. I had great fun competing for the title with my friends that week too and although I didn’t win the tournament, I was happy that I finished strong to give myself a chance,” said Jazz.

Jazz marked the start of his epic rise when he completed an amazing career turnaround with his breakthrough title in Bangladesh two years ago. That win was especially sweet for the Thai as it came shortly after losing his tour card for the first time in his career. Jazz would later go on to claim his second title on home soil in 2018.

Jazz continued his remarkable rise by breaking into the world’s top-100 after winning his third Asian Tour title at the season-opening SMBC Singapore Open in January. He would notch three other top-10 results before securing his fourth victory at the Kolon Korea Open last month.

The fast-emerging Thai star rose to a career-high 52nd place on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) following his win in Korea but slipped to his current 53rd position after missing the halfway cut in his second attempt at The Open a fortnight ago.

Earlier in May, Jazz also served notice of his immense talent when he came in tied-14th in his debut appearance at the PGA Championship. It was the best-ever result by a Thai player in that Major tournament.

“I am currently back in Hua Hin, enjoying a few weeks off with my friends and family before heading to Sarawak. The Sarawak Championship will be the start of another busy stretch for me. Hopefully I can kickstart that stretch with a good result in Sarawak,” Jazz added.

Jazz, arguably the hottest player on the Asian Tour this season, is currently in the running to automatically qualify for the International Team for the Presidents Cup. He is also chasing to lift the Merit crowns on both the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour at the end of the season.

Supported by the Sarawak State government, the Sarawak Championship will see a total of 150 players from 22 countries vying for top honours at the full-field Asian Tour event, which will be the Tour’s second stop in Malaysia this season.

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