Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond found his winning rhythm when he closed with a six-under-par 65 to take home the SMBC Singapore Open trophy for his third Asian Tour title and also seal his passage to The Open on Sunday.
The 23-year-old arrived in Singapore on the back of a rich vein of form to establish himself as one of the genuine contenders in the Japan Tour co-sanctioned event which offers four wild cards to leading four players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in the top-12 and ties on the final leaderboard for The Open in July.
He did not disappoint as he shrugged off the challenges of a host of quality players including Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey and Davis Love III to become the third Thai after Thaworn Wiratchant (2001) and Prayad Marksaeng (2017) to lift his third Asian Tour title with a winning total of 18-under-par 266.
“I wasn’t expecting to win actually. I was going for The Open ticket. I felt the pressure when I got to the back nine today. I had a three-shot lead after turning in 21. I know anything can happen on this course. I was just trying to hit the fairways and greens. I’m so happy as this is the biggest win in my career” said Jazz who has three Asian Tour under his belts, winning the Banglaseh Open in 2017 and Queen’s Cup at home last year.
Jazz will have his second shot at The Open after winning a slot from tied third finish in Singapore last year. He however did not make the cut at the Open.
“Getting into The Open last year was probably the best thing that has happened in my career so far. I remembered I spoke to Kiradech Aphibarnrat a lot last year before heading to Carnoustie. It was a really great experience. I learned a lot that week and I am vey excited to be making my second appearance at Royal Portrush this July,” added Jazz who will reach the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time.
“ Breaking into the world’s top-100 is a great deal for me. When I was younger, I always say I want to be the first Thai to play on the PGA Tour and the first Thai to win a Major but now, in reality, I think Kiradech has a good chance to win a Major,” said Jazz or officially kwon as Attiwit who has Kiradech Aphibarnrat as his role model.
“ I always watch him play. I spent a lot of time with him and Thongchai when we played in Europe last year. Players like Boonchu Ruangkit, Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant have been the role models whom we all look up to in Thailand,” said Jazz who won US$180,00.
Casey surmounted a strong challenge by signing for a 65 but it was never going to be enough to catch Jazz, who was unstoppable on the Sunday afternoon at the Sentosa Golf Club.
The Englishman had to settle for a share of second place with overnight leader, Yoshinori Fujimoto of Japan.
England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, who was making his debut at the SMBC Singapore Open, closed with a 69 to take outright fourth place while Thailand’s Promm Meesawat and Korea’s Doyeob Mun share not only fifth place but will also make their way together to Royal Portrush in July.