Hsieh jumps into driver's seat on #ADT OOM

Mon 06 Apr 2015

Hsieh jumps into driver's seat on #ADT OOM

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Sentosa, Singapore, April 6: Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Chi-hsien grabbed the early lead on the Asian Development Tour’s (ADT) Order of Merit after capping a dramatic home triumph at the US$150,000 Charming Yeangder ADT two weeks ago.
Hsieh, a two-time ADT winner, took home US$26,250 courtesy of his victory to sit comfortably at the top of the current Merit rankings. Hsieh displaced Malaysia’s Arie Irawan at the top after the Malaysian slipped to second place.  The Malaysian has a total earnings of US$14,146 thanks to one victory and one top-10 finish in the five events this season.
Australian Jake Stirling and American Greg Moss, who both finished tied-second in Chinese Taipei, moved to the third and fourth place on the Order of Merit after amassing US$12,454 and US$12,405 respectively.
Malaysia’s Wilson Choo, winner of the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship in February, sits in fifth place with total earnings of US$11,742 while Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek, who won the PGM Terengganu Championship in March, trails by about US$1,646 in sixth place.
New Zealander Sean Riordan, who notched two top-10s so far this season, moved to seventh place after taking home US$10,027 while Thailand’s rising star Phachara Khongwatmai is one rung back in eighth. Phachara became the youngest winner on the ADT after winning the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship last month.
Hsieh, whose maiden ADT victory came at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship in 2012, regained his confidence following his second win and is relishing his prospects of finishing in top-five on the Order of Merit to earn his 2016 Asian Tour card at the end of the season.
“I didn’t expect to win. I haven’t been playing well for quite some time and I lost track of what I want to do. I took a few months off last year to focus on practising and I’m glad the hard work has paid off with this win,” said the 24-year-old.
Starting the year in 1548th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), Hsieh rose to 726th after earning six OWGR points following his win on home soil before moving up to his career’s high of 720th this week.
“Now that I’ve won again on the ADT and leading the current Order of Merit, I will try and focus on the ADT as much as I can this season to earn my Asian Tour card for next year. The ADT is a very good platform for aspiring players to advance their careers.
“When I won on the ADT in 2012, the ADT did not offer world ranking points. With the opportunities to gain world ranking points now, I’m sure we can benefit more from playing on the ADT,” added Hsieh.
The ADT, which was inaugurated in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour, started to offer OWGR points in 2013 and will reward the top five players on the final Order of Merit with playing rights in the 2016 Asian Tour season.
Hsieh will become the sixth player from Chinese Taipei, following Chan Shih-chang, who came in second on the Order of Merit following three victories last season, Hsu Chia-jen, Chiang Chen-chih, Kao Shang-hung and Hsu Mong-nan, to earn his Asian Tour card for the next season through the ADT if he stays inside the top-five on the Merit rankings till the end of the season.
The ADT will return to Malaysia for the PGM Johor Championship, slated to take place at the Johor Golf and Country Club from April 8 to 11 this week.
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.
ADT ORDER OF MERIT (TOP-10)
Pos  Player Country                                  Earnings (US$)
1      HSIEH Chi-hsien (TPE)                      26,250
2      Arie IRAWAN (MAS)                         14,146
3      Jake STIRLINGZ (AUS)                       12,454
4      Greg MOSS (USA)                              12,405
5      Wilson CHOO (MAS)                         11,742
6      Panuwat MUENLEK (THA)                10,096
7      Sean RIORDAN (NZL)                         10,027
8      Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA)    9,928
9      Brett MUNSON (USA)                        7,282
10    Shane SMITH (USA)                           6,988
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.