American Casey O’Toole has shot up to second place on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit after his tied second finish at the US$160,000 Taifong Open on Sunday.
The 24-year-old O’Toole added US$14,800 to his season’s haul of US$32,962 and moved up six rungs on the rankings to trail leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei by US$6,283.
Malaysia’s Arie Irawan, who has claimed two ADT victories this season, slipped to third place with earnings of US$31,767 while Australian Jake Stirling and Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang are fourth and fifth on US$27,585 and US$26,339 respectively.
Despite missing out on his maiden ADT victory, O’Toole kept his head up and took consolation that his best finish so far this season has put him in a good position to secure his Asian Tour card for next season.
“It feels good because I was five back heading into the final round. I’m happy with how I played.
I didn’t play well at last year’s Taifong Open at all. To start the second half of the season on the right foot is good. I played as well as I could. I just got outplayed but that’s okay,” said O’Toole.
O’Toole has enjoyed a great season so far with seven top-10 finishes without missing a single cut in 13 starts.
Having sharpened his short game during a recent trip back home to Alabama, O’Toole is feeling confident heading into the remainder of the season as he chases a breakthrough victory on the ADT.
“It feels good to be back. I haven’t played a tournament for a month and a half. I was a little fidgety at the start of the tournament but once I settled down, I played really well.
“During the break, I really put a lot of emphasis on my putting. I felt my ball striking has been fairly good and consistent. I try to focus now on where I’m hitting the putt and not how. I’m not really worried about my putting stroke,” added the American.
The ADT heads to Manila this week for the fifth edition of the Aboitiz Invitational. The US$100,000 event will take place at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club and will be the richest ADT event in the Philippines this season.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The ADT has announced a 2015 schedule consisting of 24 tournaments.
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.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Asian Development Tour Order of Merit (Top-20)
Pos Player (USD)
1 HSIEH Chi-hsien (TWN) 39,245.37
2 Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 32,962.29
3 Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 31,767.30
4 Jake STIRLING (AUS) 27,585.82
5 CHAN Shih-chang (TWN) 26,339.00
6 Sean RIORDAN (NZL) 26,269.02
7 Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 23,332.43
8 Jordan SHERRATT (AUS) 21,174.42
9 Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 19,981.73
10 Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 18,595.76
11 Janne Kaske (FIN) 18,539.16
12 Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 17,142.29
13 Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 16,554.06
14 Greg MOSS (USA) 16,449.36
15 Wilson CHOO (MAS) 15,700.43
16 Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN) 15,397.59
17 LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 14,790.81
18 Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 13,431.80
19 Matthw GILES (AUS) 13,300.00
20 Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 12,296.33