Looking back at 10 years: JWC 2004

Wed 17 Jul 2013

Looking back at 10 years: JWC 2004

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In the next instalment of our looking back series, we relive all the action from the Johnnie Walker Classic back in 2004 where Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez claimed victory at the age of 40.
Read on to find out why the Spaniard had described his victory as one of his hardest fought wins on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its 10th season this year.
The US$1.8 million event was held at the majestic Alpine Golf & Sports Club in Bangkok from January 29 to February 1. It was a victorious day for  Jimenez after he fired a four-under-par 68 for a four-day total of 17-under-par 271 to take home a winner’s cheque of US$301,787.
Jimenez said then that the triumph was one of his hardest yet in his career, after claiming a pulsating two-stroke victory over Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, who was leading since the first day.
“It is good to win the Johnnie Walker Classic as all my thoughts were on the tournament this week. Thomas played well but he opened the door by hitting into water twice (on the 14th and 17th),”said Jimenez, who joined great names such as Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els as winners of the Johnnie Walker Classic.
India’s Jyoti Randhawa, Asia’s number one in 2002, soared to tied-second place alongside  Bjorn after firing a spectacular final round 64 to finish on 273 total.
“I’m really surprised with my result here but I have been mentally strong. I haven’t played for a month as I’m still taking a break after last season. During my one month off, I didn’t touch my clubs. I only started practising two days before coming out here. Maybe I need to rest more to play good golf,” said Randhawa.
Thai veterans Thongchai Jaidee and Boonchu Ruangkit also thrilled the large galleries with impressive rounds of 65 and 68 respectively to earn a share of fourth place with reigning US PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel, Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, New Zealand’s David Smail and Thai-based Scotsman Simon Yates.
It was another spellbinding week for 47-year-old Thai veteran Boonchu, who became the oldest winner in Asia last Sunday following his victory in the Thailand Open.
Boonchu’s round included eight birdies against a lone bogey which pushed him into tied fourth place on 274, three behind Jimenez.
“I’ve putted really well this week. I’ve been thinking my way around on this golf course which is the key. It’s been a really good two weeks for me,” said Boonchu.
Thongchai was delighted to hog the limelight with Boonchu who has long been regarded as the godfather of golf for Thai golfers.
“To be up on the leaderboard with Boonchu’s name up there as well is tremendous for Thai golf. Today, I putted really well on the back nine and started holing some nice ones. I’m really happy,” said Thongchai.
The Johnnie Walker Classic, jointly owned by Diageo and IMG, was tri-sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasian Tours and presented in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The US$1.8 million Johnnie Walker Classic was the richest event on the Asian Tour then.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) 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.