ADT: Rizal plans alternate route to success

Fri 06 Feb 2015

ADT: Rizal plans alternate route to success

  • SHARE
Langkawi, Malaysia, February 6: Malaysia’s Rizal Amin will switch his focus to the Asian Development Tour (ADT) with renewed confidence when he tees off at the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship next week.
Rizal, who claimed his maiden ADT title at the 2014 season-ending event on home soil last December, will headline the RM200,000 (approximately US$60,000) event alongside other ADT winners American duo Brett Munson and James Bowen, Scotland’s James Byrne as well as Grant Jackson of England.
Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing, Koh Deng Shan, Thailand’s Annop Tangkamolprasert and Suppakorn Uthaipat will also be part of the strong field where players from 16 countries will vie for honours at the Gunung Raya Golf Resorts from February 11 to 14.
Highest-ranked Malaysian Arie Irawan, who won his first ADT title at the 2015 season-opening event in Malaysia last week, will spearhead the local charge alongside Ben Leong, Shaaban Hussin and Kenneth De Silva in what is only the second event on the schedule this season.
Rizal has decided to turn his attention to the burgeoning ADT after missing out on his opportunity to earn an Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School last month.
“I didn’t get to go for the Qualifying School because I had to undergo a minor surgery to remove a boil on my right thigh. It was disappointing but I rather play pain free and play healthy golf,” said the 31-year-old Malaysian, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2011.
Having won his maiden victory two months ago, Rizal is brimming with confidence as he aims to follow the footsteps of his countryman and 2013 Order of Merit champion Nicholas Fung, who had exceled on the ADT which was inaugurated in 2010 as a gateway to the Asian Tour.
“I have always wanted to try and earn an Asian Tour card but now I will focus my efforts on the ADT and try to finish inside top-five on the final Order of Merit to work myself on the main Tour. That's my main goal now. I am back to full fitness and feeling good ahead of next week,” added Rizal.
Meanwhile Koh hopes to make amends on his return to the Gunung Raya Golf Resorts as he had narrowly missed out on his maiden victory by a mere one shot to Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang last year.
“I played some good golf last year to put myself in contention. I took advantage of the par-fives which is important as there are a lot of scoring opportunities there. Chan played really solid to win last year and he didn’t make much mistakes but I was pretty happy with how I played that week too,” said the 26-year-old Singaporean.
“I’ve been working on my swing during the off season and I feel like I’m hitting it more consistently now. I definitely hope to play well on the ADT this year to boost my world rankings,” added Koh.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The ADT has announced a provisional 2015 schedule of a minimum 17 tournaments with several more to be announced in due course.
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
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.