Order of Merit boost for 2018 Asian Development Tour season

Mon 09 Jul 2018

Order of Merit boost for 2018 Asian Development Tour season

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Sentosa, Singapore, July 9: The Asian Development Tour (ADT) is set to enter an exciting development in the second half of the 2018 season as it will now reward the top seven players on the final Order of Merit with playing rights on the Asian Tour in 2019.

This development is a significant boost for aspiring professionals on the ADT as it is the highest number of Asian Tour cards on offer in a single season since the region’s secondary circuit was inaugurated as a gateway to the premier Tour in 2010.

Previously, only the top three players on the ADT Order of Merit for each season obtained their Asian Tour cards from 2010 to 2013. The number of Asian Tour cards on offer was increased to five for the next four consecutive seasons before the addition of two more spots this year.

Players will have everything to play for when they resume their Order of Merit chase at the PGM Northport Championship, which gets underway at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia from July 25 to 28.

Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour, said: “We’ve enjoyed a great season so far on the ADT, celebrating the emergence of six new winners and the record-setting victory by Pavit Tangkamolprasert, who won for the sixth time on the secondary circuit in May.

“This year, we also witnessed former regulars John Catlin and Malcolm Kokocinski winning on the Asian Tour. We believe there are numerous players from the region who are capable of achieving success and the ADT platform can continue to unearth rising stars of the game.”

“With the increase in the number of Asian Tour cards on offer to top-seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit, I am sure players will have added motivation to do well as they strive to play their way onto the Asian Tour,” Cho added.

After gaining invaluable experiences by playing and winning twice on the ADT, American Catlin showed true grit on the Asian Tour by claiming his second victory in Malaysia last week and became the first player to win twice on the region’s premier Tour this season.

“This is a very good move because guys are putting in so many weeks on the ADT and trying to earn their card on the Asian Tour. Look at the last couple of years – Gavin Green and Johannes Veerman coming from the ADT and having a great year on the Asian Tour. I’m also having a good year and that speaks of the calibre of the ADT,” said the 27-year-old Catlin.

Catlin signaled his arrival in Asia when he made the mark in his first attempt at the Qualifying School in 2015. While he did not manage to retain his card for the following season, Catlin was able to regain his playing rights after another successful attempt at the Qualifying School in 2016.

The American made only three cuts made in eight starts on the Asian Tour in 2016 but would find success on the ADT in November when he claimed his breakthrough at the Combiphar Golf Invitational in Indonesia.

A third attempt at the Qualifying School in 2017 saw him miss the mark for the first time, causing him to switch his focus entirely to the ADT, where he would play his way back onto the main Tour with a second win and five other top-10s before finishing third on the money list.

“There’s always been a lot of talent on the ADT. The level of play on the Asian Tour has been very high. Seeing that in my first two years made me realised that I have to work harder. Having the ADT to work on my game was huge for me.

“I’m sure a lot of other guys have seen that and that’s why they are playing better golf and shooting lower scores. It is hard to win on the ADT! I had a lot of second place and third place finishes,” Catlin added.

Young Thai talent Nitithorn Thippong leads the money list with a current haul of US$21,084, thanks to one victory and four top-10 results. Singapore’s Johnson Poh sits in second while Shohei Hasegawa of Japan takes third.

The ADT will continue to offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) for the sixth consecutive year in 2018. From launching with five tournaments in 2010 to offering a total of 22 tournaments in 2018, the ADT has proved to be a successful platform for upcoming players to gain entry into the region’s premier Tour.

For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.

Ends.

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.