Jazz hopes to hit right notes in Samui

Wed 28 May 2014

Jazz hopes to hit right notes in Samui

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Samui, Thailand, May 28: Thailand’s teenaged rising star Jazz Janewattananond is looking forward to the Queen’s Cup in Koh Samui next week as he continues his push for a maiden Asian Tour victory.
The 18-year-old Jazz has fond memories of the Santiburi Samui Country Club as he posted his first ever top-10 on the region’s premier Tour at last season’s edition, finishing tied fourth on the famous holiday isle which is renowned for its sandy white beaches and holiday resorts.
The career breakthrough proved to be Jazz’s launch pad as he went on to notch two other top-10 finishes and a joint 12th outing to end his 2013 campaign in 30th place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit with US$111,812 in winnings.
The slender Thai has continued to reinforce his growing reputation with a tied fifth finish at the recent CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters and joint eighth at the ICTSI Philippines Open and is now aiming for another top performance in his fourth appearance at the Queen’s Cup, which is staged in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, from June 5 to 8, 2014.
“I have played at the Queen’s Cup since I was 15 years old. I never liked playing on the golf course but I found something there last year and I managed to achieve my first top-five on the Asian Tour. I want to go back there and play good because it is held in my home country,” said Jazz, who missed the cut in his first two appearances at the Queen’s Cup.
The Santiburi Samui, which is nicknamed the Beast of Samui, has proven to be a demanding test of golf for the Asian Tour stars over the years due to its tight layout and punishing hazards. Jazz reckons the best way to deal with the course is to hit it as straight as possible on every tee shot.
“To be honest, I don’t know what I found there last year and I kind of like the golf course now. It is such a tough course and everyone knows that. You need to hit it straight and be consistent with your shots,” said Jazz.
“Finishing fifth at the Queen’s Cup was the turning points because I gained so much confidence there to do well on the Asian Tour. I gained the belief that I can play and contend on the Asian Tour. After that, I rarely missed a cut on Tour,” added the young Thai, who has since missed only two halfway cuts following last year’s Queen’s Cup which is sponsored by Bangkok Airways and Sports Authority of Thailand.
Jazz, who holds the record of being the youngest player to make the cut on the Asian Tour in 2010 at the age of 14 years old, is prepared to bide time in his search for a first tournament victory in the region.
With full exempt status, he enjoyed the opportunity to compete in the co-sanctioned events with the European Tour in Malaysia and Singapore earlier this year and made the cut in both before enjoying strong finishes in Indonesia and the Philippines.
“I have gained a lot of experience over the last few weeks. I played on long courses in Malaysia and Indonesia and the course in the Philippines was also demanding. It helps when you play on different type of golf courses on the Asian Tour. It really helps you to gain more experience and become a better player,” he said.
Jazz has certainly found new fans thanks to his exciting brand of golf and youthful swagger. His Thai first name is Atiwit but he changed it due to his father’s liking to jazz music.
Compatriot Thongchai Jaidee, who played with Jazz on a couple of occasions last season, said: “Jazz is a very good player but he needs more experience. I have no complaints about his game and he will learn by playing with big players like us. He is a good player and very young, so he has plenty of time to learn. He will be the golfer to look out for in the future. He practices very hard and if he continues playing like this, he will be a superstar.”
About the 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.