Asian golf legend Thongchai Jaidee has maintained his stature as the highest earning golfer on the Asian Tour ahead of countryman Thaworn Wiratchant, with five other Thais featuring prominently on the Career Money List.
The 45-year-old Thongchai, the only player in history to win three Order of Merit crowns, has accumulated US$5.31 million in earnings on the Asian Tour since making his debut on the region’s premier Tour in 1999.
His achievement is highly commendable as Thongchai has featured extensively with great success as well in Europe over the past decade.
With a record 18 career victories in Asia, evergreen Thaworn, who is 48, sits in second place with US$4.25 million in earnings, with fellow Thais Prayad Marksaeng (US$3.29 million), Prom Meesawat (US$2.56 million) and Chapchai Nirat (US$2.43 million) featuring in the top-10 of the Career Money List in fifth, eighth and 10th positions respectively.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the 2013 Asian Tour number one when he earned US$1.12 million that season, is ranked 12th with US$2.33 million while Chawalit Plaphol is 19th on the list with US$1.8 million.
The seven Thais have an accumulated 51 Asian Tour victories, ranking Thailand as the most successful golfing nation in the region to date.
India’s golfing stars come a close second behind Thailand, with three players – Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa and Anirban Lahiri – featuring in the top-10. Shiv Kapur and S.S.P Chawrasia are 12th and 14th on the list, while Arjun Atwal is ranked 21st.
Singh, Asia’s number one in 2006 and 2008, is third on the earnings list with US$3.37 million. With six career wins on the Asian Tour, he also holds the record of earning the highest prize winnings in a single season with US$1.45 million in 2008.
Randhawa, India’s first Asian Tour number one in 2002, is ranked fourth with US$3.36 million thanks largely to eight career wins while current Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Anirban Lahiri, who won two tournaments last month, jumped into ninth place with US$2.5 million, seven years after joining the Asian Tour.
Other notable names in the top-20 Career Money List include Singapore’s Mardan Mamat in 11th position with US$2.33 million in prize winnings, Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang who is 16th with US$2.06 million, and Filipino duo Juvic Pagunsan and Angelo Que, who are 17th and 20th with US$1.89 million and US$1.78 million respectively.
The most successful international golfer to date is Scott Hend of Australia, who is ranked seventh on the Career Money List with US$2.75 million. Hend has won six times on the Asian Tour since joining the circuit in 2007.
Asian Tour Career Money List (Total Earnings (US$)
1. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 5,313,423
2. Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 4,252,537
3. Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 3,372,169
4. Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 3,361,495
5. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 3,298,375
6. LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 3,247,748
7. Scott HEND (AUS) 2,759,522
8. Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 2,566,519
9. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 2,513,729
10. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 2,436,281
11. Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 2,338,700
12. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 2,331,977
13. Shiv KAPUR (IND) 2,148,920
14. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 2,128,645
15. Anthony KANG (USA) 2,060,320
16. LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 2,060,127
17. Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) 1,890,486
18. Simon YATES (SCO) 1,809,729
19. Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 1,800,044
20. Angelo QUE (PHI) 1,788,774