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Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond has been crowned the 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion after his lead on the Habitat for Humanity Standings became unassailable.
With Scott Hend opting not to tee up at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open this week, the 23-year-old Thai has secured his prime position atop the money list as he cannot be caught by his closest challenger.
Two wins at the SMBC Singapore Open and Kolon Korea Open along with seven other top-10s on the Asian Tour have earned the prodigious talent the divine right to become the fourth Thai after Thongchai Jaidee (2001, 2004, 2009), Thaworn Wiratchant (2005, 2012) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (2013) to be crowned Asia’s number one.
“I’m really honoured to join the likes of Thongchai, Thaworn and Kiradech as the next player from Thailand to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit. It’s an exclusive group of champions which I’m so proud to be in.
“While it’s not a perfect season this year as there are times which I thought I could play even better, overall, it has been a very good one where I took advantage of my opportunities and made the best of them,” said Jazz, who has risen to a career- high of 52nd on the Official World Golf Rankings this year.
Jazz has been one of the revelations this season with wins at the Singapore Open in January, where he beat a field which included Sergio Garcia and Paul Casey, and Korea Open in June.
“The win in Singapore was certainly the highlight of the year for me because I won early in the season and that victory broke me into the world’s top 100 then. It opened doors for me and I took advantage of them,” said Jazz, who also won the second edition of the Panasonic Swing series and enjoyed a standout season in Japan with six top-10 finishes in the Land of the rising sun.
In May, Jazz came to global prominence at the PGA Championship where he entered the final round in joint second place before closing with a 77 to settle for tied-14 finish, which was the best-ever result achieved by a Thai player at the PGA Championship.