2015 ADT Season Set To Unearth New And Exciting Talents

golf-1Kuala Lumpur: The 2015 Asian Development Tour (ADT) season kicks off in Malaysia this week with the aim of uncovering many more exciting young talents such as Nicholas Fung, Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Chan Shih-chang and Arie Irawan.

A gateway to the premier Asian Tour, the ADT continues to exceed its goal of providing a viable platform for players to showcase their skills and cut their professional teeth following its launch back in 2010.

Thailand’s Pavit was the toast of the 2014 season where he ended the year on top of the Order of Merit with a season’s haul of US$68,975, thanks largely to three impressive victories.

Chan of Chinese Taipei was also victorious on three occasions and their battling performances did not go unrewarded as they were granted Board Exemptions towards the end of 2014 to compete in several Asian Tour events.

Last year, a record 21 events with an unprecedented US$1.6 million in combined prize funds were offered on the ADT and officials are expecting the numbers to grow in the new 2015 season, which currently lists 18 tournaments.

“The ADT is a great platform for players to prepare themselves for the Asian Tour. I’m glad that I earned my Asian Tour card through the ADT. I had the opportunity to play in a few Asian Tour events and that helped me gain more confidence,” said the 25-year-old Pavit.

Niall Turner of Ireland and American Brett Munson also earned Asian Tour cards for the new season after finishing third and fifth position respectively on the Order of Merit.

It was a special case for Arie, who claimed the last and final Asian Tour card when Sattaya Supupramai, ranked fourth on the ADT Order of Merit, finished inside the top-60 on the Asian Tour Merit list. The Thai’s efforts on the Asian Tour meant that the next best player on the ADT earned a Tour card.

“This is only the beginning of my career and I have to put in a lot more hard work to compete on the Asian Tour. Playing on the ADT has helped me gain a lot of confidence,” said Arie.

“I have to congratulate Sattaya for finishing inside top-60 on the Asian Tour. Sattaya told me after last November that he would try to get into top 60 on the Asian Tour. The belief that he can do it was amazing, especially when he came in fifth at the BANK BRI Indonesia Open,” he added.

Over the years, many other notable names have emerged from the ADT including Malaysia’s Fung and Jonathan Moore of the United States.

Other new and exciting talents are expected to emerge from the ADT this year when the season begins at the PGM Sime Darby Harvard Championship in Malaysia on Wednesday.

Asian Tour’s Associate Director Irfan Hamid hailed the growth of the ADT and predicted another stellar season for the Tour. “The ADT has proven to be a wonderful launch pad for many young and up-coming golfers and I’m confident the ADT will continue to breed many more talents in the new season,” said Irfan.

The burgeoning ADT has a strong partnership with the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour where a total of 12 events will be staged this season in Malaysia. The ADT will also travel to Philippines and Indonesia, while a special approved event was staged in Thailand earlier this month. More tournaments will be announced in due course.

With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.

If the qualifying cut off for the Olympics was made this week, Chan will have qualified for the top-60 man field on merit through his rise in the world rankings following his success on the ADT. He has risen from 488th position in the world as at the end of 2013 to 258th currently.