Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 11: Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond prefers to stay grounded even as he enjoys being part the elite company at the CIMB Classic which starts at the TPC Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
From losing his Tour status at the start of the year, to winning his first title in Bangladesh and being in the company of some of the world’s best players at the CIMB Classic this week, it has been a memorable turnaround year for the 21-year-old Thai.
Jazz, who will be playing alongside American Michael Kim and C.T. Pan of Chinese Taipei in his opening two rounds, is hopeful his hard work will continue to pay dividends as he tees off at the Malaysian spectacle for the first time.
Like Jazz, compatriot Poom Saksansin will also be making his debut at the CIMB Classic and he believes that with the format of play where there is no cut, he will be under less pressure.
Filipino Juvic Pagunsan will also feature in the elite 78-man field as one of the leading 10 available players on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Did you know?
- Jazz Janewattananond earned his maiden breakthrough at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open in February to regain his playing rights on the Asian Tour. Following that victory, he went on to notch four top-10s.
- Jazz was ordained as a monk at the Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram in Bangkok for two weeks in December last year. It was a mark of respect for his parents and the late king of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej. He said the experience has made him feel very peaceful, not only on the golf course but also in his life.
- Poom Saksansin’s win at the TAKE Solutions Masters was his first wire-to-wire victory and the second on the Asian Tour in 2017.
- Poom’s victory marked a welcome return to form as he had injured his back last year. He came close to winning again in Japan last month but fell short by two shots to finish tied second.
- Pagunsan wrote a slice of history in 2011, becoming the first Filipino to win the coveted Order of Merit trophy in a season where he did not win a tournament but posted four top-10s, including a runner-up finish at the Singapore Open.
- Pagunsan is seeking to win his first Asian Tour title in 10 years with his last victory coming at the Indonesian Presidential Invitational in 2007.
“I still have my ADT membership card just to remind myself of how I started the year and where I’m now.” – Jazz Janewattananond
Jazz Janewattananond (Tha)
It’s always a nice and awesome feeling knowing you have qualified for one of the biggest events in Asia. I didn’t think I would be playing much Asian Tour events at the start of the year because I didn’t have my card. I thought I would have to be playing on the Asian Development Tour. I played my first ADT event and paid for my membership card. I still have my ADT membership card just to remind myself of how I started the year and where I’m now. So I can’t be mad at anything I did because I didn’t have anything at the start of the year and here I am now. I think it shows my hard work has paid off and it shows the guys who play in ADT that anything can happen in a week or two. When I first played on the ADT, I made the cut on the line and finished almost last. But I got my Tour card back immediately after the following week in Bangladesh. So for those guys on ADT right now, it shows that anything can happen. I was a reserve on site a few years ago as I thought I would get in in a bit, but when I didn’t, it was okay. It was such a good experience being surrounded by such great players. That was the first time I met Justin Thomas who wasn’t the actual winner back then, but he is now. It’s an amazing feeling to be around the top players in the world.
Poom Saksansin (Tha)
I’m very excited to play, but there’s less pressure this week as there’s no cut. I’ll just try my best this week and enjoy the experience of playing with the top players like Hideki and Justin Thomas. I think I can learn something from them. I think I’m confident with my game and I hope I can play well this week. I used to play here on the ADT but at another golf course. This is quite long course and you got to hit long.
Juvic Pagunsan (Phi)
I’m very excited about the week. It’s a big event and it feels good to be part of the field. I’m enjoying a good run of form and that’s why I’m here this week. All of us are really good players and we’ll all try our best to try and win this week, including myself. I’ve played here twice before during the Malaysian Open. The course is a little bit long for me. But hopefully my drivers and irons will work well for me.
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 14 billion as of 30 June 2017 and about 38,000 employees located in 15 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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