Pavit Tangkamolprasert hopes to make it three wins in a row for Thailand on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) when he defends his title at the PGM MNRB Sarawak Championship which starts on Wednesday.
The Thais have won five ADT titles in 10 events so far this year and the reigning Order of Merit champion plans to increase the winning tally for his country at the RM200,000 (approximately US$55,400) ADT event.
Nirun Sae-ueng and Itthipat Buranatanyarat won the last two ADT events in Sabah and the Philippines respectively and they will join Pavit at the Kelab Golf Sarawak alongside Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai, who won his first ADT title in Malaysia in March at the age of 15.
They will face strong challenges from current ADT Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei, Greg Moss of the United States and Malaysians Arie Irawan and Wilson Choo, who all sit inside the top-five on the Merit list.
“I would say the Thai players are currently the best in Southeast Asia! We have got a strong local tour back home and we have got good tournaments all year. Our players have to practice hard and play good to make the cut in the local events. That’s how we build up our strength and prepare ourselves for international events like the ADT,” Pavit explained.
The 26-year-old Pavit was delighted to see more Thai players playing on the ADT and fighting their way to earn an Asian Tour card in 2016 which will be afforded to the top-five players on the Order of Merit at the end of the season.
“It’s definitely great to see Thai players winning on the ADT. I won’t say my success has inspired them but I have been encouraging them to come and play on the ADT,” said Pavit, who is the most successful Thai player on the ADT with four wins.
“A lot of players back home asked me about this Tour because I was number one last year. I have been telling them to come and play on the ADT if they want to get on the Asian Tour. It’s actually easier than Qualifying School because you’ve got the whole season to play for a card as compared to Qualifying school where you need to put together four solid rounds,” he added.
Pavit enjoyed a superb 2013 season where he won three ADT titles including the PGM MNRB Sarawak Championship to win the Order of Merit crown and earn an Asian Tour card for 2015.
“I putted really well last year. My putting was so good that week! That win gave me a lot of confidence and put my game in good shape heading towards the end of the season. I was chasing for the top spot on the Order of Merit as well and that win in Sarawak spurred me on and I managed to win in Chinese Taipei the following month,” he smiled.
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.asiandevelopmenttour.com