SHAH ALAM: Thailand’s Jazz Janewat-tananond is a man on a mission when he tees up at the Maybank Championship tomorrow.
The 23-year-old golfer aims to break into the world’s top 50 by winning the US$3mil (RM12.3mil) event, which is jointly sanctioned by the Asian and European Tour.
Jazz is currently sitting at No. 78 on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), thanks to a series of impressive displays since December last year.
He claimed five top-five finishes in his last seven starts, highlighted by a victory at the Asian Tour season-opening Singapore Open in January,
Jazz has vowed to translate the red-hot form into a winning performance this week at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
“This is going to be a big week for me. If I play well enough, then I might have a chance to move closer or even crack the top 50,” said the Bangkok-born player.
“Getting into the top 50 has been my goal since I turned pro (in 2010) and I was really fortunate to reach where I am this soon.
“If I could accomplish it (breaking into the top 50) this week, it would be great.
“But even if I don’t, it will only be a matter of time,” added a confident Jazz, who is the Thai No. 2 behind Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who plies his trade on the US PGA Tour.
Jazz said he doesn’t have to look far for inspiration.
His close friend Justin Harding of South Africa achieved the feat on Monday after winning the Qatar Masters and finishing tied second at the Kenya Open in the last two weeks.
He is now the world No. 48.
Harding was ranked 716th at the beginning of last year.
“It was very inspiring to see him do it. We played together a lot last year,” said Jazz.
“Seeing someone close to you achieving it gives you the much needed boost and confidence. If he could, so can I.”
Jazz will be making his fourth straight appearance in a championship he has yet to impress.
He missed the cut in the first two years and only managed a tied 39th last year.