Chang Hwa, Chinese Taipei, July 24: Thai brothers Pavit and Annop Tangkamolprasert will be aiming to cement their spots inside the top-five on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit when the Taifong Open gets underway on Friday.
The US$160,000 Taifong Open has been reduced to 54 holes with the first round rescheduled to start on Friday due to the inclement weather caused by Typhoon Matmo which hit Chinese Taipei on Wednesday morning.
The Taifong Open will now be a three-day event as officials are working to ensure that the Taifong Golf Club is in playable condition before the start of the ADT event.
As the richest tournament on the schedule, the Taifong Open will play a big role in determining the Order of Merit race where the top five players at the end of the season will secure Asian Tour card for 2015.
An in-form Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei, who claimed his maiden professional win in the last edition of the Taifong Open in 2010, will lead the charge for honours alongside a talented cast which includes Pavit and Annop, American Brett Munson and Peter Richardson of England.
Local hero Lin Wen-tang and three-time Asian Tour winner Angelo Que of the Philippines, who is playing on a sponsor’s invite, will also feature in the Taifong Open, which is the 10th stop on the ADT schedule this season.
Pavit currently sits in third place on the Merit rankings with total earnings of US$18,195 while younger brother Annop trails by about US$2,800 in fifth. Chan leads the Order of Merit on US$28,816 courtesy of two ADT victories.
Pavit, who claimed his breakthrough win at the 2013 ADT season-ending event in January is feeling upbeat about his game and is determined to play his way onto the premier Asian Tour.
“I’m happy with my game. I think my driving and my approach shots are very good. I just have to putt well this week. I had a two-week break before going to play in Jakarta because I was really tired. I’m glad I took the rest because I managed to get a good result in Jakarta last week,” said the 25-year-old Pavit.
“My main focus for this year is to do well on the ADT. It’s good to see my younger brother in a good position on the Order of Merit as well. I hope we can both play on the Asian Tour next season,” added Pavit.
Annop, aiming for a first ADT win, is bracing himself for a tough time at the Taifong Golf Club where windy conditions are expected to make life difficult for the ADT talents.
“I have a few top-10s this year and I’m definitely looking forward for more but hopefully I can get a win if I’m lucky. The playing condition is always tough in Chinese Taipei, especially with the strong winds,” said Annop, who has four top-10s so far this season.
The Thai brothers are glad to have the company of each other while they work hard and strive towards winning.
“We normally practice and travel together. It’s definitely good to have a brother, who is like a good friend, travelling together with you. We can help look out for each other too,” said Annop.
“I don’t see Annop as a competitor even though he’s also chasing for an Asian Tour card! It would be awesome if we can both make it onto the Asian Tour at the end of the season. We travel with a group of Thai players as well and we are like a team,” said Pavit.
The Taifong Open was previously staged for five editions on the domestic circuit and will be returning to the highly-rated Taifong Golf Club after a four-year lapse for its ADT debut this week.
The winner of the Taifong Open will receive US$28,000 in total, as well as six Official World Ranking Points (OWGR).
This season, the ADT will reward the top five players on the final Order of Merit with playing rights for the 2015 Asian Tour season. Previously, only the top-three players were offered Asian Tour cards.
Source: Asian Tour