Prom Meesawat (Asian Tour photo)
Linkou - Thai star Prom Meesawat believes the feeling of ‘home’ comforts in Chinese Taipei will spur him to success when he tees off for the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on his favourite hunting ground starting Thursday.
Having claimed his second Asian Tour title at the Yeangder TPC in 2014, Prom is enjoying a strong sense of familiarity in Chinese Taipei and he hopes his previous successes in the popular US$500,000 event can lead him to a third victory this week.
The 35-year-old Thai is taking plenty of confidence from a tied-sixth place finish at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club last year, as well as a commendable season so far where he capped three top-10 results to sit in 12th place on the Order of Merit.
"It’s always nice to come back here. I have a lot of good memories here. It’s like coming back to my second home. I have a lot of Taiwanese friends here. I feel comfortable coming back here. I have been playing a lot of good golf since last year. I will keep knocking on the door and hopefully I’ll get the win again," said Prom.
"This is my fourth week in-a-row playing tournaments. I’m feeling a little bit tired but I am still alright. I played well in Japan two weeks ago so I’m hoping to replicate the good form this week. I played well in Japan last week too, just didn’t make enough putts. The game is good and I’m looking forward to this week.
This course is always windy. You got to keep the ball in play. It’s not a long course but the greens are tricky. Hopefully I can putt well this week. The current goal for me is to try and boost my Order of Merit ranking so that I can qualify for the WGC-HSBC Champions in November. I still have a good chance, just need to play well this week and in the next couple of weeks," he added.
Prom will spearhead a talented 144-man field that features 40 Asian Tour champions in the full-field event, which is celebrating its 10th consecutive edition on the region’s premier Tour this week.
Viraj Madappa, who became the youngest Indian winner on Tour at the age of 20 following his breakthrough on home soil last August, will be looking to turn his season around with another good showing at the Yeangder TPC, where he finished fourth in his debut appearance last year.
Coming off the back of a runner-up finish in Jakarta last week, Korea’s Yikeun Chang is brimming with confidence as he aims to extend his fine form and launch another title bid for his Asian Tour breakthrough.
Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana hopes to make his dream season even more memorable as he sets sights on a successful debut at the Yeangder TPC. The 21-year-old has been impressive this season with one victory, three top-20 finishes and only a missed cut in six starts.
Did you know?
- Prom Meesawat is a two-time winner on the Asian Tour. He first won in Korea in 2006 before claiming his second victory at the Yeangder TPC in 2014, where he triumphed in a play-off against Miguel Tabuena.
- Prom enjoyed a tied-sixth place finish at the Yeangder TPC last year.
- He won the 20th Singha Thailand Masters on his domestic circuit in March and claimed his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title in Brunei in April.
- Prom got his season off to a great start when he secured a tied-fifth place finish at the season-opening Singapore Open in January to make a long-awaited second appearance at The Open in July.
- Prom sits in 12th place on the current Order of Merit, thanks to three top-10 finishes so far this season. He is aiming for good showings to boost his ranking and qualify for the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions.
- The qualifying period for 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions commenced at the conclusion of 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions and will conclude on October 21, 2019.
- The leading 4 members with the best aggregate prize money earned from Asian Tour prize money-counting events during this period and not otherwise exempt will qualify for the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions.
- Viraj Madappa is playing in his second year as a professional. He came through the Qualifying School in 2018 and claimed his maiden Asian Tour title on home soil last August.
- Madappa holds the record of being the youngest Indian player, at the age of 20, to win on the Asian Tour.
- Madappa enjoyed a fourth-place finish in his debut appearance at the 2018 Yeangder TPC, two months after his breakthrough on home soil. He went on to notch another top-10 finish at the season finale in Indonesia to finish 35th on the 2018 Order of Merit.
- Madappa has endured a lacklustre season, having made only four cuts in 11 starts to sit in 67th place on the money list.
- Yikeun Chang topped the Asian Tour Qualifying School in his second attempt in 2016 but did not keep his card for 2017 as he finished 101st on the Order of Merit that year.
- Chang would regain his card at the 2017 Qualifying School after finishing tied-eighth. He ended the season in 48th place on the Merit rankings and kept his card for 2018.
- In 2017, Chang also won his National Open for his first professional title after prevailing on the third play-off hole. That victory earned him a coveted spot at The Open at Royal Birkdale that year where he made his Major debut.
- Chang enjoyed his best season yet in 2018, claiming two top-10 results which included a joint runner-up finish at the Maekyung Open. He went the distance with countryman Sanghyun Park last year but agonisingly missed out on his first Asian Tour win after Park defeated him on the third play-off hole.
- Chang would end the season in a career-high 18th place on the Habitat for Humanity Standings to retain his card for 2019.
- Sadom Kaewkanjana won on his first start on Tour at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open in April and became the fastest Qualifying School graduate to win on the Asian Tour. The record was held previously by Australian duo Kane Webber and Todd Sinnott who won in their second starts after coming through the Qualifying School in 2006 and 2017 respectively.
- Sadom secured his 2019 Asian Tour card in his first attempt at the Qualifying School last December.
- He turned professional at the end of 2018 and broke through on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after claiming his first professional victory at the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation in February.
- Sadom enjoyed an illustrious amateur career prior to joining the play-for-pay ranks. He was ranked as high as 10th position on the Official World Amateur Rankings and his amateur wins include the 2017 Malaysian Amateur Open, 2017 All Indian Amateur and the 2018 Dutch International Junior Open. Also won the 2017 Singha Pattaya Open on his domestic circuit as an amateur.