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Golf: Thailand stages second mixed series event

12 April 2022 09:23:10 EST
Ratchanon Chantananuwat made history with a win last week

The Trust Golf Asian Mixed Series continues this week, with the Asian Mixed Stableford Challenge taking place at Siam Country Club in Thailand.

This is the second and final event of the series, which sees players from both the men's Asian Tour and the Ladies European Tour compete for the title, with Order of Merit and Race to Costa del Sol points up for grabs as well as a $750,000 USD prize fund.

Unlike last week's event, which was played in the traditional 72-hole stroke play style, this week's tournament will adopt a modified stableford format meaning players will score points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole.

The tournament will get underway on Wednesday, with the final round scheduled for Saturday

Chantananuwat has already made history

Last week's Asian Mixed Cup was not just notable for being the latest mixed event contested between male and female players following the success of last year's Scandinavian Mixed, but also as there was a history-making winner.

Teenage amateur Ratchanon Chantananuwat claimed a two-shot victory at the event, and at 15 years and 37 days, he became the youngest ever male player to win on one of the sport's major tours.

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa had previously held the record when he won the Japan Tour's 2007 Munsingwear Open KSB Cup aged 15 years and eight months, that success coming just two months after Chantananuwat was born.

It wasn't just Chantananuwat's age that made the victory so impressive, but also the controlled nature of his performance on the final day despite his tender years.

The teenager carded a final round of 65 last week to finish on 20-under-par for the tournament, two strokes clear of nearest rival Kim Joo-hyung.

It would be an almighty ask for Chantananuwat to repeat that success in this week's stableford format, although the event is taking place at the same venue, with the youngster priced at 12/1 to finish top of the pile once again.

Janewattananond to make experience count

One of the standout names in the field this week is undoubtedly world number 235 Jazz Janewattananond, who finished in a tie for 16th at last week's Mixed Cup.

Janewattananond saved his best form for the final round of that event, posting an ominous score of 64 at Siam Country Club.

The 26-year-old is a player with undoubted pedigree, notably finish in a tie for 14th at the 2019 US PGA Championship, while he was T46 on his most recent major appearance at last year's Open.

While his form may not be currently at those levels, he has just one top-10 finish to his name across his last 10 starts, Janewattananond does still have the quality to rise to the challenge.

The former world number 38 is a proven winner, registering six wins on the Asian Tour in the past, and with a healthy home support sure to be behind him in Thailand this week, he may well be able to deliver a return to the winners' circle at odds of 16/1.

Thomson leading female challenge

The highest-placed female at last week's Mixed Cup was Chanokhan Angurasaranee, who finished in a tie for sixth on 15-under following consistent rounds of 67, 70, 67 and 69.

Angurasaranee, who is known as April, was playing in her first tournament on the Ladies European this year, but she will not be featuring in this week's stableford format.

Six players finished in a tie for 10th, two strokes behind April, including Scotland's Michele Thomson, who also made the biggest move in the Race to Costa del Sol standings, jumping from 22nd to sixth.

Thomson has secured three top-12 finishes across her last five starts and has only missed one cut from her previous 12 appearances on the Ladies European Tour, a run that dates back to September 2021.

The Scot can be backed at 175/1 to land the top prize this week, while home favourite Jaravee Boonchant, who finished alongside Thomson on 13-under, is available at 45/1.

Boonchant graduated from Duke University just last year, but is already making inroads in the professional game, claiming her first victory in the BGC Thailand LPGA Masters last December.

The Thai star certainly appears to be a player to watch in 2022 and, after catching the eye at Siam Country Club last week, she could well be challenging at the top of the leaderboard come Saturday's final round.

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