Journeyman Catlin finds right direction on Tour

Mon 09 Jul 2018

Journeyman Catlin finds right direction on Tour

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Sentosa, Singapore, July 9: American John Catlin first set foot on the Asian Tour in 2015, armed only with copious amount of talent and a dream.

A dream to become the best golfer that he can be and win on the Asian Tour.

“It is crazy where life will take you. I remember landing in Bangkok and I don’t know where I’m going and I don’t even know where Hua Hin is but now I live there. It is pretty crazy,” said Catlin.

It was an arduous journey but a fulfilling one which would see Catlin win not once but twice on the Asian Tour this season.

The Sarawak Championship was the 27-year-old’s second Asian Tour victory in two months which catapulted him to 10th place on the Habitat for Humanity Standings.

“I always wanted to do great things ever since I was a little kid. Both my victories are equally awesome. You can’t really put one above the other,” said Catlin, who earned his maiden breakthrough at the Asia-Pacific Classic in China in May.

Life as an aspiring professional looking for his big break meant tightening the purse strings as he only made three cuts in eight starts on the Asian Tour in 2016 and had to switch his focus to the Asian Development Tour (ADT).

“I had to save a lot on the ADT because I didn’t have money to spend. We get like four of us with four golf bags in cab and would pack ourselves in the car just to save like five or 10 dollars.

“Sometimes four of us would be living in a room. It makes you work extra harder instead of going through that every week. You don’t want to stay there. That’s where you start and you want to work your way up from there. It has always spurred me on,” said Catlin.

Catlin found success on the ADT at the Combiphar Golf Invitational in Indonesia in November 2016. But having missed the grade at the 2017 Qualifying School, he would soldier on and eventually found his way back onto the main Tour with a second win and five other top-10s to finish third on the ADT money list.

The American’s sojourn on the Asian Tour has taken him to the length and breadth of the continent, each with a fascinating tale to tell.

“I’ve been to Dhaka, I never thought I would go and play four tournaments there. Going to India was pretty awesome and eye opening. I’ve also been to Pakistan, never did I think I would ever go to Pakistan but I had to for the ADT to finish inside the top-five on the Order of Merit and get my Asian Tour card,” said Catlin.

“In Pakistan I was a bit nervous. Coming out of the airport I was scared. I got through customs and everything fine. Then we saw 20 people and they were the nicest people we’ve ever met and I see this convoy with four or five armed vehicles.

“It was like the president is coming to town and we were in a bus and these vehicles escorted us to the hotel. That was pretty amazing, I’ve never been treated like that before in my life,” recalled Catlin, who is targeting another win at this week’s Bank BRI Indonesia Open.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma continues to take pole position on the Habitat for Humanity Standings with England’s Matt Wallace and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat occupying second and third place respectively.

Top-20 players on the Habitat for Humanity Standings

Pos       Player   Order of Merit (US$)

1            Shubhankar SHARMA   (IND)                $589,575.00

2            Matt WALLACE   (ENG)                            $446,660.00

3            Kiradech APHIBARNRAT   (THA)           $360,737.14

4            Sanghyun PARK   (KOR)                           $295,660.39

5            Rahil GANGJEE   (IND)                             $290,425.53

6            Minchel CHOI   (KOR)                              $271,340.97

7            Sihwan KIM   (USA)                                  $251,373.77

8            Paul PETERSON   (USA)                           $241,148.57

9            Jazz JANEWATTANANOND   (THA)      $199,324.39

10          John CATLIN   (USA)                                 $183,191.66

11          Scott VINCENT   (ZIM)                             $176,289.85

12          Gaganjeet BHULLAR   (IND)                   $174,472.30

13          Berry HENSON   (USA)                             $155,033.66

14          Daniel NISBET   (AUS)                              $151,883.64

15          Panuphol PITTAYARAT   (THA)              $135,949.11

16          Khalin JOSHI   (IND)                                 $123,931.97

17          Hideto TANIHARA   (JPN)                       $123,306.08

18          Danthai BOONMA   (THA)                      $122,021.50

19          Prom MEESAWAT   (THA)                       $121,605.91

20          Shaun NORRIS   (RSA)                             $118,284.91