Jazz Janewattananond
Jazz Janewattananond

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond improves hopes of making the International Team

sports May 22, 2019 17:55

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Brooks Koepka solidifies position in U.S. Team with PGA win



Melbourne -  Thailand’s rising star Jazz Janewattananond has improved his chances of qualifying for the International Team to face the United States Team at the Presidents Cup this December following an impressive showing at the recent PGA Championship where he finished T14 in his debut appearance.

Jazz, who won the SMBC Singapore Open in January, moved up four positions from 16th to 12th place on the latest International Team points list while countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat is ranked 17th. The duo are Thailand’s two best chances to qualify for the International Team this year. Countryman Thongchai Jaidee featured in the 2015 edition in Incheon, Korea. 

The Presidents Cup will return to Melbourne, Australia and The Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the third time, from December 9-15, 2019, when the International Team, led by Captain Ernie Els, will take on the U.S. Team led by Captain Tiger Woods.

Jazz captivated New York golf fans with a stellar display last week where he entered the final round in T2 position. He fought gallantly on Sunday before slipping back with a closing 77 to post Thailand’s best finish in the PGA Championship.

“It's on the back of my mind for sure,” Jazz said of qualifying for the Presidents Cup. “I played with Ernie a couple weeks back, and he just told me to keep playing good. So I'll see about that.”

Els, who will spearhead the International Team as captain for the first time, has been keeping a close tab on Janewattananond’s progress after playing together in Malaysia recently.

“Another international player who has caught my attention is Jazz. This kid has got talent and at Bethpage Black, he showed us what he can do with a solid T14 finish. Though it may seem as if the world was introduced to Jazz last week, this 23-year-old has had his fair share of professional success after turning pro at age 14. He’s won three times on the Asian Tour and defeated a strong field at the Singapore Open this year. With the PGA being just his fourth PGA TOUR start, it was quite encouraging to see him perform so well under an enormous amount of pressure.”

Korea’s Sung Kang also enhanced his prospects of qualifying for the International Team after a magical two-week spell where he won his first PGA TOUR title at the AT&T Byron Nelson and finished seventh at the PGA Championship. He has vaulted 28 spots in the standings from No. 38 to No. 10 and is currently the highest-ranked Korean in the standings.

“If I get in, I’ll be honored to play in the Presidents Cup,” Kang said following his win.

Other admirable performances at the PGA by International Team hopefuls included a T8 finish by Adam Scott, who remains No. 11 in the standings. The top 5 of the International Team standings remained consistent, with Marc Leishman sitting atop the standings, followed by Louis Oosthuizen, Hideki Matsuyama, Haotong Li and Cameron Smith. Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, who finished T16 in his PGA Championship debut, moved one rung up into eighth position, swapping places with Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan, winner of last month’s RBC Heritage.

The top-eight players following the BMW Championship, the second of three events in the FedExCup Playoffs, will earn automatic places in the International Team, with Captain Els making four picks following the PGA TOUR’s Asian swing in early November.

 On the U.S. Team points list, Brooks Koepka successfully defended his PGA Championship title in wire-to-wire fashion for his sixth win on the PGA TOUR and fourth major championship victory while solidifying his bid to join the U.S. Presidents Cup Team for a second time. Koepka jumped from No. 5 to No. 2 in the standings behind Dustin Johnson, who remained atop the standings after finishing runner up at Bethpage Black outside New York City.

Koepka, 29, made his Presidents Cup debut in 2017 at Liberty National where he produced a 2-2-0 record, which included two Four-ball match wins with Johnson as his partner. With the win at the PGA, Koepka joined U.S. Team hopefuls Xander Schauffele (No. 4) and Matt Kuchar (No. 5) as players with multiple victories on the PGA TOUR during the 2018-19 season. Schauffele and Kuchar finished T16 and T8, respectively, to maintain their position inside the top 8 in the standings.

Elsewhere on the U.S. Team standings, Patrick Cantlay moved into position for one of the top-eight automatic qualifier spots after a T3 finish at the PGA Championship elevated him four spots from No. 12 to No. 8. The 27-year-old Long Beach, California native has seven top-10 finishes in 13 starts this season and is in search of his first Presidents Cup appearance.

Three-time Presidents Cup participant Jordan Spieth returned to form with a T3 finish of his own at Bethpage Black. At No. 38 in the standings, the 11-time PGA TOUR winner and former Australian Open champion will need a solid run over the next three months in hopes of locking up an automatic qualifier spot in mid-August.

Playing his first tournament since his Masters triumph, U.S. Captain Woods missed the cut and dropped two spots in the standings to No. 11.

The top 15 players in the International and U.S. Presidents Cup Team Standings as of May 20, 2019 are listed below. Click here for the full Presidents Cup standings.

INTERNATIONAL

Rank    Player                          Country                       Points

1.         Marc Leishman             Australia                       136.30

2.         Louis Oosthuizen          South Africa                  131.93

3.         Hideki Matsuyama        Japan                            122.76

4.         Haotong Li                   China                           115.86

5.         Cameron Smith            Australia                       107.08

6.         Jason Day                     Australia                       102.85

7.         Justin Harding              South Africa                  102.04

8.         Abraham Ancer             Mexico                         97.99

9.         C.T. Pan                       Chinese Taipei             96.04

10.        Sung Kang                    Korea                           94.05

11.        Adam Scott                   Australia                       91.37

12.        Jazz Janewattananond    Thailand                       82.49

13.        Si Woo Kim                 Korea                           78.84

14.        Shugo Imahira              Japan                            76.99

15.        Corey Conners             Canada                         76.72

 

UNITED STATES

Rank    Player                                      Points

1.         Dustin Johnson                         6,327

2.         Brooks Koepka                         6,116

3.         Justin Thomas                           5,359

4.         Xander Schauffele                     5,169

5.         Matt Kuchar                             5,099

6.         Bryson DeChambeau                4,471

7.         Rickie Fowler                          4,199

8.         Patrick Cantlay                         3,816

9.         Tony Finau                               3,682

10.        Gary Woodland                        3,671

11.        Tiger Woods                            3,638

12.        Phil Mickelson                         3,521

13.        Webb Simpson                         3,458

14.        Charles Howell III                    3,134

15.        Kevin Kisner                            3,106               

 

International Team eligibility criteria

The top eight (8) international players (excluding those eligible for the European Ryder Cup team) from the Presidents Cup International Team Points List which shall be Official World Golf Ranking points accumulated in the time period from August 27, 2018 (Dell Technologies Championship) through August 18, 2019 (BMW Championship).

 

Four Captain’s selections will be made at a to-be-determined later date.

 

U.S. Team eligibility criteria

The top eight (8) U.S. PGA TOUR members who have earned the most FedExCup points from September 11, 2017 (2017 BMW Championship) through 2019 BMW Championship, weighted as follows:

 

(a) 2017 BMW Championship through 2018 TOUR Championship: 1 FedExCup point = 1 point

(b) First event of the 2018-2019 season through 2019 BMW Championship: 1 FedExCup point = 2 points

Four Captain’s selections will be made at a to-be-determined later date.

 

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