The final battle for the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit crown and the five coveted Asian Tour cards will take place when the 2014 season heads towards the finishing line at the PGM MIDF KLGCC Championship, which is slated to take place from December 3-6.
Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert leads the current Order of Merit with a season’s haul of US$68,975 courtesy of three victories and five top-five finishes while Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei trails by a mere US$566 in second place.
The talented duo, who had earlier received playing rights on the Asian Tour following three ADT victories this season, will have everything to play for when they challenge for the ultimate Order of Merit crown at the majestic Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
While the Merit Crown is clearly left for Pavit and Chan to vie for in the RM250,000 (approximately US$80,000) event, there is also a battle on the other end where players are fighting to finish inside the top-five on the final Order of Merit so as to secure their Asian Tour cards for the 2015 season.
Niall Turner of Ireland, a one-time ADT winner, sits in third place on the money list with current earnings of US$46,218 while Thailand’s Sattaya Supupramai, who claimed his third ADT title a fortnight ago, takes fourth place on US$46,192.
Malaysia’s Arie Irawan trails fifth-placed Brett Munson of the United States by about US$4,220 in sixth place on US$37,275. Arie will need a top-three finish at the PGM MIDF KLGCC Championship to stand a chance to grab one of the five Asian Tour cards on offer.
Pavit, who claimed his fourth ADT title in Chinese Taipei last month, is hoping to cap off his solid season by winning the Order of Merit.
“The ADT has been a great platform for me to hone my skills and I gained a lot of playing experiences. It has been a great season for me and I hope to cap it off by winning the Order of Merit,” said the 25-year-old Thai.
Chan, who had earlier led the merit rankings for more than half of the season, was equally impressive when he claimed his fourth ADT win at the Taifong Open on home soil in July. He had also recorded two top-20s on the Asian Tour this season.
“It has been a great year for me. Getting playing rights on the Asian Tour was a great confidence booster for me. It has been good playing in the last few events. I’m looking forward to playing on the Asian Tour next year but right now, I hope to challenge for the Merit crown again. I’m not far from it so I think I still have the chance,” said the 28-year-old Chan.
Since its inauguration in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn Asian Tour cards for 2015.
All ADT events also receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points which is a boost for the game in the region.