Kuala Lumpur, August 10: The Asian Development Tour’s (ADT) hopefuls will resume their chase for Asian Tour cards when they head to Malaysia for the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship which gets underway on Wednesday.
An international line-up of players from over 19 countries will vie for honours at the RM200,000 (approximately US$55,400) ADT event which is returning to the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club for the third consecutive season since its inception in 2013.
Reigning Order of Merit champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand will headline the field alongside American Casey O’Toole, Australian Jake Stirling and Sean Riordan of New Zealand, who are currently placed second, fourth and sixth on the ADT Order of Merit.
They will face strong challenges from the home front led by two-time defending champion Danny Chia, Arie Irawan, ranked third on the ADT money list, 2013 Order of Merit champion Nicholas Fung and the in-form Ben Leong.
Other notable players who will shoot for glory include Malaysia’s Wilson Choo, Janne Kaske of Finland, Japan’s Masaru Takahashi, James Byrne of Scotland, Thai duo Itthipat Buranatanyarat and Phachara Khongwatmai, who became the youngest winner on the ADT in March at the age of 15.
Working in partnership with the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour, a total of 12 PGM events will feature on this season’s ADT Schedule, giving Malaysian players a big incentive in chasing for a place on the region’s main Tour as well as a dream spot in the Olympic Games in 2016.
The Malaysian players will also be gunning for world ranking points this week as the leading Malaysian as of September 30 will qualify for the US$7 million CIMB Classic in Malaysia, which is jointly sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and Asian Tour in October.
Since the last PGM event on the ADT two months ago, the ADT has travelled to Indonesia, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines before returning to Malaysia for the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship, which is the 18th leg of the 2015 season.
The winner of the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship will take home a prize purse of US$9,615 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points. The top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to 21 tournaments in 2014. A record 24 tournaments have been confirmed for the 2015 season.
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the final Order of Merit with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 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.