SMBC Singapore Open reigning champion Jazz Janewattananond catapulted into the world’s top-50 with a stunning victory in the Indonesian Masters on Sunday and booked a spot in the 2020 Masters.
The fast-rising Thai shot an eye-watering 17-under-par (62-65) over the weekend at Royale Jakarta Golf Club to power past his rivals and win by five shots over countryman Gunn Charoenkul.
It was the 24 year old’s third win of the season on the Asian Tour after victories in the SMBC Singapore Open in January and the Kolon Korea Open in June.
Jazz topped the Asian Tour moneylist for 2019 with current winnings of just under US$1 million. There is one event remaining this season.
Also during an outstanding year, Jazz tied for 14th spot at the PGA Championship and had a string of top-10 finishes on the Asian and Japan Tours.
He started off 2019 in style by displaying maturity beyond his years and a special talent to hold off challenges from Ryder Cup men Paul Casey and Matthew Fitzpatrick and the highly rated Yoshinori Fujimoto of Japan to win the SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club.
With the victory, 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 ever four-round total.
It was no overnight success for Jazz. He turned professional just before his 15th birthday in November 2010 and since then has been steadily improving his game and climbing the rankings.
Before his triumph at the SMBC Singapore Open he won the Bangladesh Open in 2017 and the Queen’s Cup on home soil in 2018, victories that stamped his credentials as a player to watch.
After a big rise to 74th on the Official World Golf Ranking following his triumph in the SMBC Singapore Open, Jazz has been knocking on the door of the elite top-50 and jumped to 52nd spot after his win at the Korea Open.
With his latest move up the rankings, he locked up his place in The Masters at Augusta next April.
“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 it this week. Maybe next goal is top-40?,” said Jazz after his Indonesian Masters victory.
“It’s been a very fulfilling year so I am 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 it is good to be busy in golf, so I’m looking forward to it.
“A lot of people asked me how and why am I playing better now. I can’t answer it. It just got better. Everyone in my life has been helping me to this point, especially my parents.”
Gunn, runner-up to Jazz at the Indonesian Masters, is a client of SMBC Singapore Open promoters Lagardere Sports and will also be playing the tournament from January 16-19, 2020.
Major winners Justin Rose of England and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, American Matt Kuchar, who secured the win for his country in the Presidents Cup at the weekend, and in-form Japanese Ryo Ishikawa, like Jazz a three-time winner this season, are among the drawcards for January’s SMBC Singapore Open.