Phachara is a new Gem on the Asian Tour

Teenage sensation Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand occupies second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with his runner-up finish in Perth.

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Phachara Khongwatmai

Feb 20, 2017: Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand went down fighting at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 on Sunday but it won’t be the last time you see his name featuring on a leaderboard.

At the age of 17, the teenager has achieved feats beyond his age and his star continues to shine as brightly as his nickname ‘Diamond’.

Despite losing to hometown favourite Brett Rumford at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 in the final match, Phachara earned plaudits for his fighting spirit and his confidence is still soaring high.

His rise in the professional ranks has not gone unnoticed. He made his Major debut at The Open in 2016 and will make a swift return to the year’s third Major championship after finishing tied second at the SMBC Singapore Open which was part of The Open Qualifying Series.

Since then, he has not missed a single cut and his runner-up finish in Perth saw him move to second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. He also broke into the top-200 by moving 57 spots to 149th position on the Official World Golf Ranking.

“You know, when I play in tournaments, I don’t have a goal. I only hope to make the cut because I don’t want to give myself any pressure. It has been working for me so far so I will continue to focus on my own game,” said the lanky Thai.

Phachara, a two-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner reached the finals at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 in sensational style. He secured the 24th and final spot after the third attempt at the play-off holes and dispatched of Australians Sam Brazel, Lucas Herbert, Matthew Millar and Jason Scrivener before facing off with Rumford.

“I did not feel any pressure. After taking the last spot (on Saturday), I was already very happy. I just told myself to play well and enjoy. Even when I was 1-down after the fourth hole, I told myself to just play good, just try for another birdie. Doesn’t matter if I win or not. Second place is already a very good result for me,” smiled Phachara.

The Order of Merit race is shaping up nicely after four tournaments on the Asian Tour. David Lipsky of the United States, the 2014 Asian Tour number one, continues to lead the rankings on US$333,330 following his runner-up result at the Maybank Championship a fortnight ago.

Phachara trails in second place on US$251,722 while the evergreen Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, winner of the SMBC Singapore Open, sits in third place on US$182,362.

The Leopalace21 Myanmar Open champion Todd Sinnott of Australia occupies fourth place on US$151,600 followed Spaniard Carlos Pigem in fifth position US$103,800.

The Asian Tour will travel to the US$1.75 million Hero Indian Open in two weeks time from March 9 to 12, 2017.

 

Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20

Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)

  1. David LIPSKY   (USA) 333,330
  2. Phachara KHONGWATMAI   (THA) 251,722
  3. Prayad MARKSAENG   (THA) 182,362
  4. Todd SINNOTT   (AUS) 151,600
  5. Carlos PIGEM   (ESP) 103,800
  6. Shubhankar SHARMA   (IND) 102,756
  7. Panuphol PITTAYARAT   (THA) 93,105
  8. Anirban LAHIRI   (IND) 82,500
  9. Johannes VEERMAN   (USA) 72,368
  10. Juvic PAGUNSAN   (PHI) 69,905
  11. Jbe KRUGER   (RSA) 69,090
  12. Younghan SONG   (KOR) $66,000
  13. K.T. KIM   (KOR) 65,650
  14. Sam BRAZEL   (AUS) 58,339
  15. Gaganjeet BHULLAR   (IND) 56,293
  16. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND   (THA) 54,000
  17. Shiv KAPUR   (IND)            52,320
  18. Siddikur RAHMAN   (BAN)            50,400
  19. Rashid KHAN   (IND) 48,015
  20. Ben LEONG   (MAS) 43,575
  21. Thongchai JAIDEE   (THA) 43,575

 

Asian Tour Release

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