Young guns ready to play

Mon 23 Nov 2015

Young guns ready to play

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Sentosa, Singapore, November 23: Natipong Srithong’s winning putt on the 18 green at last week’s Resorts World Manila Masters summed it all up.
Asian Tour’s newest 22-year-old winner from Thailand now represent the emerging breed of young golfers primed to become a dominant force in the game for many years to come.
Natipong’s triumph in Manila meant he joined compatriot and roommate Danthai Boonma in the winner’s circle after teeing up in his what was only his fourth professional start.
Danthai, 19, had earlier underlined his rising star credentials by winning his first Asian Tour title at the inaugural World Classic Championship at Laguna National a fortnight ago.
Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao and Lee Chieh-po, aged 23 and 21 respectively, did not get the breakthrough which they had hoped for, but showed great resolve by finishing tied for third.
With an average age of 21 years, these young stalwarts have won lots of admiration from seasoned professionals including two-time Asian Tour winner Prom Meesawat of Thailand.
“These young boys are very good and it’s nice to see them coming through the ranks,” said Prom.
Victory in Manila for Natipong is now a life-changing one.
The law undergraduate from Thammasat University in Thailand might have to hang up his legal robes, temporary switching to a more sporty outfit as he contemplates his next move
“I am still studying law and I have one more year left. The plan was to play this week and head home next week to prepare for my exams.
“Now that I’ve won, I will have to go back and discuss with my dad what’s the plan moving ahead. For now, I will be playing the next tournament in Vietnam,” said Natipong.
While they fell short of a victory in Manila, Lee and Hung’s commendable results showed he could be on their way to follow the footsteps of compatriots Lin Wen-tang, Lu Wen-teh, Lu Wei-chih, all winners on the Asian Tour.
Hung, who rose to 28th place on the money list, believes his time will come if he continues to play true to form.
“The last time in Macao, I led after two rounds but this week, I was leading after three rounds. It’s an improvement for me.
“This is probably my best finish on the Asian Tour so far. I’ve finished top-five last year too. Hopefully I can do better next time,” said Hung.
India’s Anirban Lahiri, 28, continues to lead the Asian Tour Order of Merit after a season haul of more than US$1.1 million while Australia’s Scott Hend is in a distant second.
The Asian Tour will take a week’s break before heading to Ho Tram, Vietnam for the inaugural Ho Tram Open, which at US$1.5 million, is the most lucrative full-field Asian Tour event.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. Anirban LAHIRI   (IND) $1,139,084.65
2. Scott HEND   (AUS) $491,631.66
3. Andrew DODT   (AUS) $427,723.75
4. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA   (IND) $318,472.55
5. Thongchai JAIDEE   (THA) $268,820.13
6. Paul PETERSON   (USA) $257,022.02
7. Richard T. LEE   (CAN) $240,747.65
8. Danny CHIA   (MAS) $238,966.36
9. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $209,645.00
10. Marcus FRASER (AUS) $197,299.77
11. Chiragh KUMAR (IND) $187,275.17
12. Natipong SRITHONG (THA) $180,000.00
13. Sam BRAZEL (AUS) $176,250.19
14. Jeunghun WANG (KOR) $175,141.98
15. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) $171,500.01
16. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) $169,659.52
17. Mardan MAMAT (SIN) $162,882.93
18. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) $159,133.57
19. Mithun PERERA (SRI) $156,144.77
20. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) $149,646.83
Ends.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.