Singapore: Jazz Janewattananond, cock-a-hoop at establishing himself in the world’s top 50, has confirmed he will defend the SMBC Singapore Open title he won in stylish fashion in January.
The 24-year-old Thai jumped to 40th in the Official World Golf Ranking – sealing a coveted spot at April’s US Masters – after victories in the Indonesian Masters and Thailand Masters in the past fortnight, his third and fourth successes on the Asian Tour this year.
With his confidence sky high, Jazz will take on Major winners Justin Rose of England and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, American Matt Kuchar as well as the finest players from the Asian and Japan Tours at Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong Course, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“After winning in Singapore (SMBC Singapore Open) and breaking into the top-100, my next goal was top 50. I am really happy to achieve,” said Jazz.
“It’s been a very fulfilling year so I’m excited about what lies ahead in 2020 (with the defence of the SMBC Singapore Open title coming early in the year).”
Jazz repelled the challenges of Ryder Cup duo Paul Casey and Matthew Fitzpatrick and Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto to win the 2019 SMBC Singapore Open.
He became the youngest winner of the Singapore Open and his 18-under-par 266 went into the record books as the tournament’s best four-round total.
He said: “I got emotional, but happy emotional (at the victory). I could not believe that I beat Paul Casey down the stretch or Matthew Fitzpatrick, who was in my group. It boosted the confidence in me, for sure.
“The last day at (SMBC Singapore Open) has got to be my best round (ever). I did not think I had a chance of winning – I was 111th in the world and never had a big win before. It was definitely one of the best tournaments of my life, so far.”
After his win at Sentosa Golf Club, Jazz won the Kolon Korea Open in June followed by the Indonesian Masters and Thailand Masters this month.
His previous victories came at the Bangladesh Open in 2017 and the Queen’s Cup on home soil in 2018, successes that marked him down as a player to watch.
Jazz, who turned professional just ahead of his 15th birthday, topped the Asian Tour money list for 2019.
During an outstanding year, Jazz also tied for 14th spot at the PGA Championship and had a string of top-10 finishes on the Asian and Japan Tours.
To be held from January 16-19, 2020, the SMBC Singapore Open is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation.