Nitithorn in driver’s seat on the ADT Order of Merit

Mon 28 May 2018

Nitithorn in driver’s seat on the ADT Order of Merit


Sentosa, Singapore, May 28: Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong currently leads the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit thanks to a solid season so far.

The 21-year-old has won once followed by four other top-10s to lead the Order of Merit race with earnings of US$21,084.

Nitithorn is in the running to become the third Thai player, following Pavit Tangkamolprasert (2014) and Pannakorn Uthaipas (2017), to lift the Merit crown since the ADT was inaugurated as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour in 2010.

After failing to make the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, Nitithorn turned his attention to the region’s secondary circuit, where he has been a regular since turning professional in 2015.

Nitithorn got his season off to a flying start, capping three straight top-10s before earning his breakthrough at the PGM Penang Championship earlier this month. He continued his hot streak at the Singha Laguna Phuket Open where he finished fourth the week after.

Former ADT Merit leaders John Catlin of the United States and Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski were promoted to the Asian Tour following their victories in China and Bangladesh, opening the door for Nitithorn to take over the number one spot.

Despite finishing outside top-10 for the first time this season at the Betagro Championship last week, Nitithorn remains atop the money list after taking home US$667 from his tied-46th result at the Suwan Golf and Country Club.

“My goal after missing out at the Qualifying School was to win three times on the ADT to ensure I stay inside the top-five on the Order of Merit. I have been working on my mental game with my coach and I have gained a lot more confidence in myself,” said Nitithorn.

“I feel great that I’m leading the Order of Merit right now. I didn’t expect my season to start out so well. I am more focused on the process than on the result right now, so I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past four months,” said the young Thai.

Singapore’s Johnson Poh trails Nitithorn by US$3,466 in second place while Qualifying School graduate Shohei Hasegawa of Japan sits in third on US$15,471. The duo has claimed one win and two top-10s each so far this season.

Argentinean Miguel Carballo takes fourth place after recording five top-10s in six starts for a current haul of US$14,145. Japan’s Kazuki Higa, who emerged victorious in his ADT debut at the BTI Open in Bangladesh, trails Carballo by a mere US$988 in fifth.

The PGM Northport Championship will kickstart the second half of the 2018 ADT season when it gets underway at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia from July 25 to 28.

Players will also resume their Merit chase when they return to Malaysia for the RM225,000 (approx. US$58,000) event as the top-five finishers on the 2018 ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour in 2019.