Thai hotshot Jazz Janewattananond hopes to continue his resurgence with a good showing in his debut appearance at the Fiji International, which gets underway at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course next week.
The 21-year-old Thai will be in fine form heading to Fiji after winning his first Asian Tour title at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open in February and notching three top-10 results in his last four starts on the region’s premier Tour.
Placed eighth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Jazz will feature in the A$1.5 million (approximately US$1.14 million event) alongside compatriot Phachara Khongwatmai, Gavin Green of Malaysia and Australian Todd Sinnott, who are all ranked inside the top-10 Merit list.
Reigning Order of Merit champion Scott Hend of Australia will also headline the event with the immensely talented Jeunghun Wang of Korea, at the event which will be tri-sanctioned for the first time by the Asian Tour, ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour from August 17 to 20.
“I haven’t been to Fiji before but I have heard a lot of great things about the place. I am looking forward to visiting Fiji next week. I have seen past footages of the tournament and I know it will be really challenging given the windy conditions on course. But whatever it is, I am very excited to be there next week,” said Jazz.
Jazz first played his way into the history books of the Asian Tour in 2010 when he became the youngest ever player to make the halfway cut at the age of 14 years and 71 days.
Prior to his breakthrough win in Bangladesh, Jazz had lived as a monk for two weeks in Thailand and he said that experience strengthened his mental game and helped revived his career after losing his Asian Tour card last season.
“It’s been a great season for me so far, from losing my playing rights at the end of last season to securing my first win in February and then earning my debut appearance on the PGA Tour in May. My game’s coming along really nicely.
“I don’t have much worries for this season now that I have secured my card for next year but I want to treat the remainder of the season as a test for myself. I want to challenge myself and see if I can get into contention every week, as only then can I take my career to the next level,” added the talented Thai.
Other notable players in the elite field include Major champions Vijay Singh of Fiji, Mike Weir of Canada and Ángel Cabrera of Argentina.