After an exhausting year of travel, Jazz Janewattananond hopes to have enough fuel left in the tank to produce a sprint to the finish line.
By his own admission, it’s been a topsy-turvy campaign for the 31-year-old Thai, whose has confirmed he will play in the International Series Egypt, after next week’s International Series Morocco.
It’s been a mixed bag for the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit champion in 2019, the year in which he broke into the top-40 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
Although there have been five top-10 finishes during 2022 there have also been 11 missed cuts, including a horrible mid-season slump when he failed to qualify for weekend play for five weeks in succession.
But he will arrive at Cairo’s Madinaty Golf Club in better spirits for the sixth leg of the Asian Tour’s inaugural, ground-breaking International Series, which was launched this year thanks to a landmark partnership between the Asian Tour and LIV Golf aimed at invigorating the game in Asia and the Middle East.
Showing welcome signs of a resurgence, he posted a joint sixth-placed finish in last week’s Mallorca Golf Open, his best performance on the DP World Tour this season.
Now Jazz is focused on boosting his standing in the Asian Tour’s International Series Money List in which he currently sits in 22nd place having posted top-30 finishes in each of his four starts this year – tied 29th in Korea, joint 22nd in Singapore, equal 15th in England and a share of 11th in Thailand.
The leading six players in the Money List are all in the starting line-up in Cairo with Zimbabwean Scott Vincent looking to stretch his advantage at the summit from American Sihwan Kim, Thais Phachara Khongwatmai and Ntithorn Thippong, Korean Taehoon Ok and Australian Travis Smyth.
In the absence of Korean Bio Kim, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, there’s an enticing opportunity for his pursuers to make up ground as the season heads towards its climax.
The strength of the field in the Asian Tour’s first-ever visit to Egypt is boosted by the presence of rising Spanish star Eugenio Chacarra, who gained global headlines with his triumph in this month’s LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok.
Joining him are a host of LIV Golf regulars including Chacarra’s compatriot David Puig, Americans Peter Uihlein, James Piot, Chase Koepka, Andy Ogletree and Turk Pettit, Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma, South African Hennie du Plessis and Jordan’s Shergo Al Kurdi.
Among other notable names taking part are Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Australian Brett Rumford.
The International Series Thailand teed-off the new venture in March with Sihwan Kim emerging triumphant at Hua Hin’s Black Mountain Golf Club.
Vincent claimed victory in the International Series England in June at Slaley Hall, an event that marked the Asian Tour’s first-ever tournament in the United Kingdom.
In August, Nitithorn took top honours in the International Series Singapore at Tanah Merah Country Club, while Jeju Island’s Lotte Skyhill Country Club was the scene of Ok’s success in the International Series Korea.