KUALA LUMPUR: A strong cast of international stars comprising of more than 30 Asian Tour champions from 20 different countries will headline the inaugural US$300,000 Sarawak Championship next week.
Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, who holds eight Asian Tour titles, will feature in the event alongside 2017 Rookie of the Year Micah Lauren Shin of the United States, Xiao Bowen of China and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond at the Damai Golf and Country Club from July 4 to 7.
Also in the elite field are former Asian Tour number ones Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa of India while the local challenge will be spearheaded by Nicholas Fung and Ben Leong, both winners on the Asian Tour.
Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert will return to the Malaysian state on Borneo with happy memories as he tasted victory in Sarawak on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in 2014.
With six ADT titles under his belt, the 29-year-old Pavit holds the most number of victories on the region’s secondary circuit but his goal next week is to claim his second Asian Tour title at the Sarawak Championship.
“I won in Sarawak before, although it’s a different golf course. It’s been four years since I won in Sarawak but I am looking forward to going back to Malaysia next week. It always feels like home in Malaysia. I used to go there a lot when I play on the ADT so I am very happy to go back to Malaysia,” said Pavit.
He sensationally won his first Asian Tour title at the 2016 Venetian Macao Open by defeating Anirban Lahiri on the first play-off hole. The win was a huge boost in his career and he hopes to repeat the feat in Sarawak.
“I have a lot of good memories in Malaysia. I won two of my ADT titles in the country. Everything is good for me right now. My wrist is okay and my game’s feeling strong. I am driving the ball good. I feel very confident. We got a stretch of events coming up so hopefully I can get some good results.
“At this point, my aim is to finish the year in the top-60 and keep my card. I have been playing well this season. It has been almost two years since I won in Macao. I want to win again,” said Pavit, who ranks 46th on the Habitat for Humanity Standings.
The Sarawak Championship is the third new Asian Tour event announced this year following the Asia-Pacific Classic in China and UMA CNS Open Golf Championship which is staged in Pakistan. The Asian Tour also sanctioned the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open for the first time earlier this year.