Poom’s back into the groove

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For Poom Saksansin, the world was at his feet when he lifted his maiden Asian Tour title at the Indonesian Masters last year. That victory along with his cherubic look catapulted the Thai into the spotlight.

But shortly after that euphoria, Poom’s golfing career was brought to a standstill when he suffered a back injury.

It has been a slow climb back to the top for the 24-year-old as he started the year with a disastrous 10-over-par 81 in the first round of the Leopalace 21 Myanmar Open in January.

The young Thai felt lost. He felt like he “didn’t know how to putt”.

After missing the cut twice, Poom managed to turn the corner by making the mark in his next four events which included a tied fifth finish at the Yeangder Heritage.

Last week at the inaugural TAKE Solutions Masters, Poom capped his steady rise with a tremendous triumph, claiming the trophy after leading from wire-to-wire and staving off strong challenges from the local Indian stars.

“In Indonesia, I felt that I was lucky to win. This time, I felt that I played very well and I had a lot of expectations to win. Maybe I’m also a good player that’s why I win,” said Poom with a laugh. “This win means I’m back in form.”

In the first round at the Karnataka Golf Association Golf Course in Bengaluru, Poom started with two straight birdies and finished with a bogey-free 64.

He continued his fine streak throughout the competition, dropping only five shots while marking his cards with 21 birdies. His rounds of 64, 67, 70 and 67 for a winning total of 16-under-par 268 gave him a two-shot victory over rival and friend Khalin Joshi of India.

“I didn’t expect to win and be leader for four days! I was very surprised I was the leader after the third round because I played so badly. But after leading for three days, it would have been very disappointing to lose,” said Poom.

While speaking to the media, Poom also recounted his growing up years in a family that was not wealthy. His mother had kept an accounts book of the expenses spent on his tournament fees, but once it got too expensive, she stopped recording the amount. 

This victory secured him the winner’s prize cheque of US$54,000, which he has pledged to give to his mother.

The money also pushed him to 18th place on the Order of Merit after his total season earning of $89,840.

The top 10 positions on the Order of Merit remains unchanged after the TAKE Solutions Masters. American David Lipsky continues to lead with his season haul of US$336,507 while India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia trails closely behind in second place with just over US$312,000 in earnings.

Both Poom and runner-up Khalin made big leaps, with Poom jumping 24 spots and Khalin jumping 47 spots to sit at 38th place on the Order of Merit.

 

Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20

Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)

  1. David LIPSKY (USA) $336,507.00
  2. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) $312,353.77
  3. Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) $254,597.16
  4. Gavin GREEN (MAS) $248,071.50
  5. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $243,578.02
  6. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) $171,662.50
  7. Todd SINNOTT (AUS) $152,894.29
  8. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) $150,281.73
  9. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $145,150.00
  10. Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) $140,512.42
  11. Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) $139,074.95
  12. Shiv KAPUR (IND)  $137,653.33
  13. Nicholas FUNG (MAS) $124,737.14
  14. K.T. KIM (KOR) $123,507.06
  15. Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) $117,321.43
  16. Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) $97,249.54
  17. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN)  $95,420.52
  18. Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) $89,840.23
  19. Younghan SONG (KOR) $86,798.46
  20. Jbe KRUGER (RSA) $81,255.00
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