The region’s rising stars will be on parade when the PGM Sabah Championship gets underway at the Sabah Golf and Country Club on Wednesday.
The RM200,000 (approximately US$55,400) event will feature a total of 16 winners, including Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand, Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung and S. Siva Chandhran, who won the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit in 2014, 2013 and 2010 respectively.
Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Chi-hsien, Malaysia’s Arie Irawan, Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat, American Greg Moss and Wilson Choo of Malaysia, who sit in top-five on the current Merit list, will also headline the PGM Sabah Championship, which is the 10th leg of the schedule this season.
Other notable players include Asian Tour stalwarts Danny Chia of Malaysia, Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing and Thai wonder kid Phachara Khongwatmai, who became the youngest winner on the ADT when he won in Malaysia in March. Phachara just turned 16 yesterday.
With the coveted 2016 Asian Tour cards at stakes, players will be eager to prove their worth as they continue their race to finish inside top-five on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season.
American Casey O’toole, who has capped four top-10s so far this season, will take another shot at glory when he steps up to the tee on Wednesday.
“I have been playing solid so far this season and I am happy with my progress. I will take it one week at a time and try to play my best every week,” said the 24-year-old O’toole, who joined the play-for pay ranks in 2013.
Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek, who claimed his breakthrough victory on the ADT two months ago, will take aim at a second victory to boost his Merit rankings.
“I want to win again on the ADT so that I can get inside top-five on the Order of Merit. Winning in Malaysia gave me a lot of confidence and I am sure I can win again if I stay consistent in my game. Looking forward to playing in Sabah this week,” said Panuwat, placed eighth on the current money list.
A total of 115 players will compete in the PGM Sabah Championship this week, with the field being split between the ADT and Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM Tour).
Since it was inaugurated as a gateway to the Asian Tour in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in both 2014 and 2015.
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.