Jakarta Classic to kick-start mega run

Thu 04 Jul 2013

Jakarta Classic to kick-start mega run

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Jakarta, July 4: The inaugural Jakarta Classic will be the start of a thrilling four-week run for the Asian Development Tour (ADT) with plenty of Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points on offer.
The US$60,000 Jakarta Classic, which is staged from July 17 to July 20, will also play an important role in the ADT Order of Merit race where Nicholas Fung of Malaysia leads the rankings with US$23,471.
The ADT, which is the feeder circuit to the premier Asian Tour, then heads to the Philippines for back-to-back events - the US$65,000 Aboitiz Invitational (July 24 to 27) and US$60,000 ICTSI Mount Malarayat Classic (July 31 to August 3).
The Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship, returning for the fourth edition on the ADT Schedule, will offer US$110,000, the highest prize purse on the ADT, at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club from August 8 to 11.
A total of six ADT events have been played so far with Malaysia’s rising star Fung enjoying a splendid season with three top-10s and one victory at the PGM-UMW Templer Park Masters in Malaysia last week.
His victory also moved him by 200 rungs from 690th to 490th on the OWGR to become the highest ranked Malaysian golfer in the world.
With close to US$300,000 on offer over the next four events, the rankings on the Order of Merit are likely to see many changes as players jostle for positions. The top-three players at the end of the season will earn Asian Tour cards for 2014.
Slightly more than US$4,500 separates Fung from James Bowen of the United States, currently second on the Order of Merit, while Grant Jackson of England and Mitsuhiko Hashizume of Japan trail by US$6,000.
Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han lauded the success of the ADT which has grown tremendously since its inception in 2010.
“The ADT has become a solid platform for upcoming players to harness their game. We have seen many young players breaking through including Nicholas Fung and James Byrne who won earlier this year,” said Han.
“Other players such as George Gandranata of Indonesia have shown steady improvements in their game as a result of playing regularly on the ADT. Their achievements mirror the success of the ADT, which we have achieved through the strong backing by Corporate Asia.”
The ADT was launched in 2010 with five tournaments before growing to eight in 2011 and 13 last year.
It has proven to be a successful circuit for upcoming players to gain entry into the region’s premier Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season in 2013. So far, a total of 12 tournaments have been confirmed this season, with several others to be announced in due course.
Created along the lines of the European Challenge Tour and Web.com Tour in the United States, the ADT will reward the top-three players on the final Order of Merit with Asian Tour cards for the following year.
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 three 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.