Thai talent Pavit Tangkamolprasert was officially crowned the 2014 Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion when the curtains came down on a record-breaking season on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Pavit, who claimed his breakthrough ADT victory at the 2013 season-ending tournament in Jakarta in January, enjoyed a brilliant 2014 campaign where he won three times and registered five other top-five finishes.
Pavit edged out another promising young star, Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei, who also recorded three victories by a mere US$252 on the rankings following a season which included an unprecedented 21 tournaments and an all-time high US$1.6 million in total prize money.
Two of the young Thai’s victories came at the PGM Terengganu Championship and PGM MNRB Sarawak Championship in Malaysia before he went on to claim his fourth ADT career title at the Chang Hwa Open in Chinese Taipei.
His exploits on the ADT, which is the gateway to the Asian Tour, earned him a season’s record haul of US$68,975, the highest in a season won by a player.
By finishing in the top-five of the Order of Merit, Pavit, Chan, Niall Turner of Ireland, Thailand’s Sattaya Supupramai and American Brett Munson all earned Asian Tour cards for 2015.
Pavit, who skipped this week’s season-ender in the PGM MIDF KLGCC Championship in Malaysia to compete on the Asian Tour’s BRI Bank Indonesia Open, said he exceeded his own expectations on the ADT and vowed to push for glory on the Asian Tour in 2015.
He also hopes to emulate the success of mentor and good friend, Prom Meesawat, by winning on the region’s premier Tour.
“My aim at the start of the season was to finish top-five and get my Asian Tour card for 2015. But to win the Order of Merit is just fantastic. Prom has been a great friend and mentor to me. It would be great if I can follow in his footsteps when I play on the Asian Tour next year,” said Pavit.
With all ADT events receiving Official World Golf Ranking status, Pavit made the most of his success on the ADT by leaping 640 rungs up to his current 225th position.
Reflecting on his banner season, Pavit said his victory at the PGM Terengganu Championship in August turned his campaign around. “I played really well on the final day to win in Terengganu. I was even-par through six holes but I sank a birdie from 30 feet on the seventh hole and made five more birdies to win the tournament. That victory gave me a lot of confidence and got my game going towards the end of the season.
“I am now trying to play in as many Asian Tour events as I can to gain experience, so that I will be prepared for next year,” said Pavit, who like Chan was given a Board Exemption to play on the Asian Tour for the remainder of the 2014 season.
He hopes to stamp his mark against the region’s elite and vowed to stick to his winning ADT formula.
“Everything is still the same. It’s still me against the golf course. The standard of play is higher on the Asian Tour, there’s no doubt about it. Anyone can win a tournament so you really have to put in a lot of effort if you want to stand out amongst the stars out here,” said the Thai.
Since its inauguration in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to 21 tournaments in 2014. The ADT has announced a provisional 2015 schedule of a minimum 17 tournaments with several more to be announced in due course. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.