Masterful Jazz Sees Stock Rise as Augusta Beckons

Jazz Janewattananond celebrates his victory in Jakarta.

Jakarta, Indonesia: While the International Team were licking their wounds after a narrow Presidents Cup loss, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond was showing Captain Ernie Els just what he was missing.

Overlooked as a Captain’s Pick for the International Team in the Melbourne showpiece, Jazz made a remarkable personal season even more memorable by securing his fifth Asian Tour victory at the BNI Indonesian Masters supported by Bank BRI and MedcoEnergi.

It was his third triumph this year. Among other things, it will catapult him into the top-50 in the year-end Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and earn him a trip to Augusta National in April when he’ll make his US Masters debut.

Jazz, who sealed the 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit crown last week, signed for a closing seven-under-par 65 and a four-day total of 23-under 265 to win by five shots from countryman Gunn Charoenkul at Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

With a total of 20 OWGR points on offer at the BNI Indonesian Masters, which is the flagship event of the Asian Tour, Jazz will become only the third Thai, after Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, to break into the world’s top-50.

“It’s very good to win the flagship event of the Asian Tour,” said Jazz. “It’s the biggest full-field Asian Tour event of the year. All the good players are here and everyone’s trying to win. It will be a good ending to my season, although I still have another tournament to go next week.”

After winning January’s SMBC Singapore Open, Jazz broke into top-100 on the OWGR. “My next goal was top 50. I am really happy to achieve it this week. Maybe next goal is top-40,” he said.

“This is my best season so far. I get to play not only on the Asian Tour but also around the world. It’s been a very fulfilling year and I’m excited about what lies ahead in 2020. A lot of people say I’m going to be a busy man next year but I think this is good to be busy in golf. I’m looking forward to it.

“A lot of people ask me why am I playing better now. I can’t answer it. My game just got better. Everyone in my life has been helping me to this point, especially my parents. I’ll get to see them tomorrow so I’m really happy to bring home a trophy.”

Starting the day with a one-shot lead, Jazz reeled off five straight pars before sinking three birdies to turn in 33. He pulled four shots clear after striking a brilliant approach shot to three feet en route to a second straight eagle on the 574-yard par-five 12th.

Jazz sealed the deal with three further birdies against one bogey in his closing five holes to become the second Thai following Poom Saksansin to triumph in the US$750,000 event, which forms the third leg of the 2019/20 Panasonic Swing.

At the age of 24, Jazz is the youngest player to achieve five victories on the Asian Tour.

Thanks to collecting the winner’s prize of US$135,000, he took his season’s haul to US$968,524, breaking the US$2 million mark in his career earnings on the Asian Tour, where he started playing as a full member in 2012.

He has also secured a berth at the World Golf Championships – FedEx St Jude Invitational in 2020, thanks to his victory at the Indonesian showpiece, which celebrated its ninth consecutive edition on the Asian Tour.

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