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THONGCHAI AND YANG HONOURED AT ASIAN TOUR AWARDS

Image from Asian Tour

 

THONGCHAI AND YANG HONOURED AT ASIAN TOUR AWARDS GALA 2009

 

Thongchai Jaidee’s magical 2009 season was celebrated at the Asian Tour Awards Gala on Sunday night while Yang Yong-eun received a Special Achievement Award for becoming the region’s first Major champion.

 

Thai star Thongchai was the recipient of three prestigious awards, the Order of Merit, Players’ Player of the Year and Lowest Stroke Average, after a magical season which saw him lift two victories on the Asian Tour and three other top-10s.

 

Korea’s Yang, who is an Asian Tour honorary member, scooped up the other main award of the day for his historic triumph at the US PGA Championship where he defeated Tiger Woods in a head-to-head duel.

 

“The Asian Tour was the first international tour that I competed in outside Korea. So the Asian Tour has been a significant golfing episode in my life. I’m happy that the Asian Tour is so successful and that there is a place for me whenever I can play,” said Yang.

 

Malaysian Sports Minister Dato’ Ahmad Shabery Cheek presented the main awards.

 

As Asia’s top career money earner and holder of the most titles with 12 victories, Thongchai became the first man in Asian golf history to win an unprecedented three Order of Merit crowns in 2009.

 

He underlined his stature as one of Asia’s most consistent players by sweeping aside the Lowest Stroke Average award with 69.06. The Thai strongman, Asia’s number one in 2001 and 2004, was also toasted by his fellow peers by being voted as the Players’ Player of the Year.

 

“Thank you for all the players that voted for me. I’m very proud to see how the Asian Tour has grown and the many young talents emerging. I hope that I can set an example to the new generation of players and one day see more of the Asian Tour players in the world’s top-50 or even winning a Major tournament,” said Thongchai.

 

“All these awards are very important because it proves that I have played well and it is exciting to be able to challenge and win a third Order of Merit crown in my career. I would like to thank all the sponsors, my fellow players and the Asian Tour for making this possible,” added the Thai ace.

 

Unheralded C. Muniyappa of India, whose classic rags to riches tale inspired many when he won the Hero Honda Indian Open, took home a deserving Rookie of the Year title.  

 

Big-hitting Australian Scott Hend also earned bragging rights when he finished atop the Driving Average ranking with a driving average of 318 yards while Korea’s Lee Sung hit the most fairways throughout the season with a 75% fairway hit rate.

 

Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant, who won his 11th Asian Tour title at the Macau Open last year, claimed the Birdie Leader award after snaring a total of 255 birdies throughout the 2009 season.

 

South Africa’s Jbe Kruger hit the most Greens in Regulation (GIR) with a strike rate of 79.98 per cent to top the category while Thammanoon Srirot of Thailand took the Lowest Putting Average award with 1.691 putts per GIR.

 

The Sentosa Golf Club, venue of the Barclays Singapore Open, was voted by the players as the Host Venue of the Year for the fourth successive year

 

2009 Asian Tour Roll of Honour

 

Order of Merit Champion

Thongchai Jaidee

Special Achievement Award

Yang Yong-eun

Players’ Player of the Year

Thongchai Jaidee

Rookie of the Year

C. Muniyappa

Driving Distance

Scott Hend

Driving Accuracy

Lee Sung

Lowest Putting Average

Thammanoon Srirot

Greens In Regulation

Jbe Kruger

Birdie Leader

Thaworn Wiratchant

Lowest Stroke Average

Thongchai Jaidee

Host Venue of the Year

Sentosa Golf Club


Asian Tour 

 
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