Rich rewards for Singapore success

The iconic SMBC Singapore Open has proven a stepping stone to potential greatness for 2019 winner Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand.

His victory last year catapulted him to 74th spot in the Official World Golf Ranking and, with his confidence sky-high, he went on to win three more times during the season.

He comes into this year’s SMBC Singapore Open in 38th spot and can look forward to playing the majority of the big global events in 2020.

By topping the Asian Tour moneylist with earnings of more than US$1 million, Jazz guaranteed himself a spot at The Open this July.

It will be his third visit to the world’s oldest Major and he has the SMBC Singapore Open to thank for his participation in 2018 and last year.

Since 2017, the SMBC Singapore Open has been part of The Open Qualifying Series, an honour which has polished its reputation as a premier event on the Asian Tour.

A tied fourth finish behind Sergio Garcia of Spain in 2018 saw Jazz grab a spot at The Open and he clinched a return with his stylish victory last year.

The top four non-exempt players in the 156-player field at this week’s SMBC Singapore Open will earn spots in The 149th Open at Royal St George’s in July.

Five players – Jazz, Justin Rose, 2016 champion Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar and Aaron Pike – are already exempt for The Open giving the rest of the field plenty to play for.

Jazz missed the cut at The Open in 2018 and 2019 and, given his elevated status in the game and better understanding of links golf, he is hopeful of a better showing in 2020.

The 24-year-old said that his victory in the 2019 SMBC Singapore Open had opened up other opportunities and he was also looking forward to playing in the Masters for the first time and embracing the Olympic experience in Tokyo in 2020.

“I think this year with (entry into) the Masters and the Olympics, these are two very important tournaments to me,” he said.

“It will be my first Masters and it was always my dream as a kid to be able to compete in the Masters. Golf is in the Olympics this year and I am really looking forward to playing in the Olympics which is the biggest sporting event in the world. “

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