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Kuala Lumpur: Korean teen titan Noh Seung-yul, India’s history-maker Arjun Atwal and Thai legend Boonchu Ruangkit have been nominated for the prestigious Asian Tour’s Special Achievement Award 2010 for their remarkable accomplishments this season.
The trio hit global headlines for various magnificent feats and come Sunday, a panel comprising of Tour officials and members of the media will name the winner during the Asian Tour Awards Gala which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, Thailand.
The 2010 season comes to a climatic close with the staging of the US$600,000 Black Mountain Masters which starts at the Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin on Thursday.
Noh, 19, will enter the record books later this week when he is officially crowned the youngest Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.
The Korean teenager kick-started his season in style by winning the Maybank Malaysian Open in March, defeating boyhood idol and seven-time US PGA Tour champion K.J. Choi of Korea after pulling off a sensational birdie on the 72nd hole.
Throughout the season, he continued to impress both competitors and golf pundits with a maturity belying his tender age. He only missed one cut all season and posted four other top-10s.
Noh also enjoyed strong performances at the Majors. He finished a commendable tied 28th and 40th at the US PGA Championship and US Open respectively and qualified for the British Open.
The immensely experienced Boonchu showed he is still very capable of winning tournaments at the age of 54. Known as the “Godfather of Thai golf”, Boonchu won three straight tournaments on the European Seniors Tour early in the year and sealed the Order of Merit crown with a fourth victory in his debut season.
He exploded on the Seniors scene by winning the Brunei Seniors Masters as a sponsor’s invitee and continued his rich vein of form on home soil where he strolled to an 11-stroke victory at the Thailand Seniors Masters. His winning score of 21-under-par 195 was the lowest in European Seniors Tour history.
He then completed a superb hat-trick of victories at the Berenberg Bank Masters in South Africa and notched his fourth win at the Benahavis Seniors Masters in Spain.
Atwal, a former Asian Tour number one, brilliantly played his way into the history books by emerging as the first Indian to win on the US PGA Tour at the Wyndham Championship in August.
It was a welcome return to form for Atwal who had struggled with injuries over the years. He was also the first Monday qualifier to win a tournament in 24 years on the PGA Tour.
Victory also secured Atwal an invitation to next year’s Masters Tournament, making him only the second Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh to play in the year’s first Major at Augusta National.
Last year, Korean Y.E. Yang was honoured with the Special Achievement Award after becoming the first Asian to win a Major tournament at the US PGA Championship.
Other winners of the award include Thongchai’s Jaidee of Thailand and Jeev Milkha Singh of India.
Apart from presenting the Order of Merit trophy, the Awards Gala will also honour the Players’ Player of the Year, Host Venue of the Year, Rookie of the Year and a host of performance statistics winners.
Asian Tour                                                                                    
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