Hua Hin, Thailand, November 30: Gavin Green of Malaysia is on a mission to take over the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit lead when he contends at the ADT Thongchai Jaidee Foundation which starts on Thursday.
The 22-year-old trails Merit leader Johanness Veerman of the United States by slightly over US$5,000 but with the American not in the field this week, Green hopes to seize the opportunity at the four million Baht (approxixmately US$115,770) ADT event.
Green, who has won two ADT titles this year and finished runner-up twice, will challenge for the top prize against a stellar line-up which includes defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, John Catlin of the United States, who won last week and Itthipat Buratanayarat of Thailand.
Johan Edfors of Sweden, Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit and former tennis player turned professional golfer Paradorn Srichaphan will also feature at the Black Mountain Golf Club.
With so much at stake, the big-hitting Green will need at least a fourth place result which is worth US$6,222 at the ADT Thongchai Jaidee Foundaing tournament to take over the Order of Merit lead.
“This is a good week to take over the Order of Merit lead. But with that said, it is also one of the toughest weeks because of the players in the field,” said Green, who also represented Malaysia in the Olympics in August.
“I’m definitely fighting for that number one spot. It gives you an extra advantage heading into the new 2017 Asian Tour season. I’m not far behind but it will be a tough challenge,” he added.
“I’m definitely fighting for that number one spot. It gives you an extra advantage heading into the new 2017 Asian Tour season. I’m not far behind but it will be a tough challenge,” - Gavin Green
Green is delighted to play in the event hosted by Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee, who is the only player to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns.
“Thongchai has done so much for golf in Asia and the young players including myself hope to have such a great career like his. I’m proud to be playing in his tournament,” added the Malaysian.
The ADT Thongchai Jaidee Foundation is the penultimate event on the ADT Schedule and players are jostling to finish as the leading five players on the Order of Merit to earn an Asian Tour card for 2017.
With Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Poom Saksansin, ranked third and sixth on the Order of Merit, having already earned their cards by winning on the Asian Tour this year, the next highest ranked two players on the ADT Merit list will be promoted onto the Asian Tour.
With at least US$19,000 going to the winner this week, Panuwat Muenlek, John O’Toole and George Gandranata, who are ranked eighth, ninth and 10th on the Order of Merit, have a fighting chance to earn playing rights on the region’s premier Tour.
About Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.