Rattanon joins growing list of rising stars in Asia

Mon 22 May 2017

Rattanon joins growing list of rising stars in Asia

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Sentosa, Singapore, May 22: Five months ago, Rattanon Wannasrichan faced the prospect of losing his Asian Tour card. Now he is an Asian Tour champion.
The baby-faced Thai had finished 60th on the Order of Merit last season, which was the last spot to earn a full Tour card. On Sunday, he was sitting comfortably atop the Thailand Open leaderboard as the newest Tour winner.
Aged 21, Rattanon savoured a sensational week at the Thai Country Club, winning his national Open with a superb 21-under-par 263 aggregate, highlighted by an opening round of 62. The Thailand Open was making a welcome return onto the Asian Tour schedule after a lapse of eight years.
Wielding a hot putter all week, he averaged 24 putts per round and dropped only four bogeys to stave off the challenges from back-in-form Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar, both from India.
Like most Thais, Rattanon attributed his success to hard work and he has truly reaped the fruits of his labour with fourth place results at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open in February and the Yeangder Heritage in Chinese Taipei last month.
The soft-spoken Thai finally tasted victory on the Asian Tour and the success was sweet as he became only the fourth local player to win the Thailand Open after Suthep Meesawat (1991), Boonchu Ruangkit (1992 and 2004) and Prayad Marksaeng (2013).
“I waited five years for this win (since turning professional) and I am really proud of myself. I finally proved that I can do it,” said Rattanon, who is third first-time winner this year.
“This win will give me a lot of confidence in my game and I will try to get as many wins as I can in the future. I like to smile because it lightens my mood and I was able to avoid thinking about the pressure of winning,” he added.
India’s Kapur, who was chasing back-to-back wins after his Yeangder victory last month, nailed four birdies in his closing five holes for a 63 on the final day and finished two shots back of Rattanon.
“You can’t be winning every week so if I am able to put myself in contention every week, I will be very happy,” said the Indian, who won his first Asian Tour title at the Thai Country Club in 2005.
"This win will give me a lot of confidence in my game and I will try to get as many wins as I can in the future. I like to smile because it lightens my mood and I was able to avoid thinking about the pressure of winning." - Rattanon Wannasrichan

Rattanon’s victory pushed him to 17th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with earnings of US$80,460. He also leads in the newly launched Panasonic Swing rankings, which provides a bonus pool across five designated tournaments starting at the Thailand Open.
David Lipsky of the United States ended his campaign in Thailand in tied 20th place to extend his Order of Merit lead with earnings of US$336,507.
Indian star S.S.P. Chawrasia trails in second place on US$304,500 while Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai occupies third spot on US$251,722. Gavin Green of Malaysia (US$244,721) and Prayad (US$229,194) sit in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. David LIPSKY (USA) 336,507
2. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 304,500
3. Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 251,722
4. Gavin GREEN (MAS) 244,721
5. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 229,194
6. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 166,450
7. Todd SINNOTT (AUS) 151,600
8. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 145,150
9. Shiv KAPUR (IND) 132,270
10. Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 128,494
11. Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) 115,512
12. Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 114,591
13. K.T. KIM (KOR) 111,257
14. Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 94,869
15. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 93,415
16. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 86,832
17. Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 80,460
18. Younghan SONG (KOR) 74,548
19. Johannes VEERMAN (USA) 72,368
20. Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 71,130
About 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 ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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