Shah Alam, Malaysia: Two-time ADT winners Chikkarangappa S. of India, young Thai Phachara Khongwatmai and Janne Kaske of Finland will also be part of the international line-up of players from 19 countries to feature at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship, which is the fifth leg of the ADT schedule this season.
They will face strong challenges from the home front led by one-time Asian Tour winner Ben Leong, former ADT winners Gavin Green, Wilson Choo, Arie Irawan and the in-form Kemarol Baharin.
Other notable players who will shoot for glory include Japan’s Masaru Takahashi, James Byrne of Scotland, Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat and George Gandranata of Indonesia.
Meanwhile, American Blake Snyder is relishing a return to his winning ground as he seeks to successfully defend his title at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship starting on Wednesday.
Snyder, who claimed a breakthrough victory in the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event six months ago, will mount another challenge at the title again at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club’s garden course from February 24 to 27.
The 23-year-old American had fought back from five shots down on the final day in the last edition to edge overnight leader Gavin Green of Malaysia, who closed with a four-over-par 76, for a one-shot victory despite closing with a double-bogey.
“I remember the pure competition last year. I was locked in on the back nine and was so focused on taking home the trophy on the final day. It was a fun week. I got my first ever hole-in-one during the second round. I'm looking to have that feeling again. The win has gotten me some recognition and given me the confidence to strive for more,” recalled Snyder.
Snyder will lead an array of potential rising stars at the RM200,000 (approximately US$46,600) ADT event and they include compatriot Josh Salah, Japan’s Shunya Takeyasu and 2014 Merit champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand, who just won on home soil last week.
“The game is coming around. I took a short break last week after a five-week stretch and that really helped me feel a bit more relaxed coming into this event. This is a proven championship course as seen from the prestigious EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
“It’s a great track for me. I know the course well and I know how to attack it. I can’t wait for the competition to start. I am just going to have fun out there. I know I have the tools to win again, especially on this course,” added Snyder, who is playing in his second year as a professional golfer.
With the Olympic Games looming this July where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.