Singapore: Indian Chikkarangappa S. and Thai Danthai Boonma have become landmark champions on their home Tours.
By dint of winning the season-opening events on their respective domestic circuits they have gone down in history as the first winners to receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
With effect from this year, the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT) have been included in the OWGR system.
The OWGR is used to determine eligibility to lucrative events such as the Major championships, World Golf Championship tournaments, the World Cup and Olympic golf tournament, among others.
With these domestic Tours attaining OWGR points, golfers will have more opportunities to earn points and work their way up the rankings.
Chikkarangappa claimed a two-shot victory at the Golconda Masters 2019 Powered by Telangana Tourism & Incredible India, the season-opening event on the PGTI. The 26-year-old received five OWGR points, which lifted him from 461st to 357th on the world ranking.
Danthai was dominant at the Singha E-San Open 2019, finishing five shots ahead of the field. He earned seven points and rose from 395th to 315th on the OWGR.
Chikkarangappa and Danthai are regular competitors on the Asian Tour, which has worked closely with the PGTI and ATGT in developing professional golf in the region.
In 2018, the Asian Tour co-sanctioned the Hero Indian Open, TAKE Solutions Masters and the Panasonic Open India with the PGTI. The year also saw the emergence of Indian Shubhankar Sharma, who started his professional career on the PGTI.
Meanwhile, the ATGT has nurtured the likes of two-time Asian Tour winner Jazz Janewattananond and three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Thongchai Jaidee.
The Asian Tour has been in close collaboration with the ATGT over the last 20 years.
This week the Asian Development Tour (ADT) is holding a joint-sanctioned event in Lopburi at the home of Thongchai. Last year, the Asian Tour worked with the ATGT to put together two events on the ADT, the Singha Laguna Phuket Open and the Betagro Championship.
The top five golfers on the respective Order of Merit lists at the end of the season will receive spots at the Final Stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School.
“The Asian Tour would like to congratulate Chikkarangappa S. and Danthai Boonma for winning their respective tournaments. It’s great to see two of our members victorious and boosting their positions on the world rankings,” said Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer at the Asian Tour, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“The PGTI and ATGT have reached a significant milestone with their inclusion into the OWGR system. The Asian Tour will continue to collaborate with local golf bodies to collectively develop the game of golf in the region,” he added.