Tour Breeds Winners

Marvin Dumandan

Since its inception in 2007, the Mercedes-Benz Tour has established itself as a launch pad for the regions’ up and coming golfers.

There have been many great examples and many more in the seasons to come.

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Tour Members Granted Barclays Singapore Open Spots

April 20: The Mercedes-Benz Tour will offer its members a direct pathway into the Barclays Singapore Open this year after announcing it has secured seven spots in one of the world’s most lucrative national Opens.
The top six players from this year’s final Mercedes-Benz Tour Order of Merit will qualify along with the number one ranked player from last year.
Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul, who claimed the 2009 Merit list following two victories, is therefore the first player to benefit from this exciting new development.

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Last season the Barclays Singapore Open boasted prize money of US$5million and so a place in the field has the potential for a player to earn a bumper pay cheque.

The tournament also offers the opportunity to play alongside the best players in the world with former winners being Australian Adam Scott (2005 and 2006), Angel Cabrera from Argentina (2007), and England’s Ian Poulter (2009).

Said Namchok, “I am in shock! Last year was a great season for me on the Mercedes-Benz Tour but this is an unexpected surprise. I have played in the qualifying rounds for the Barclays Singapore Open before and just missed making it through. Now I don’t have to worry about trying to qualify. I can’t wait for the week to come.”

The stocky younger golfer claimed the B-ing Championship on home soil and the season-ending Mercedes-Benz Masters Vietnam in 2009 and earned US$27,540 from eight events.

“We have been working hard on opening more doors for our members and we are therefore overjoyed to be able to afford them the chance to compete in what is the richest national Open in Asia,” said AC Wong, Executive Chairman, Mercedes-Benz Tour.

Filipino Artemio Murakami gave himself a great chance of becoming one of the six to make it through to Singapore this season by winning the Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines last week.

Mr. Wolfgang Huppenbauer, President & CEO of Daimler South-East Asia Pte. Ltd: “We are happy to hear of this latest development and this is exactly in line with what the Mercedes-Benz Tour hopes to accomplish; offering promising golfers opportunities to compete with the best.”
The tournament was the opening event of the season.

“We firmly believe in encouraging professional golf at all levels in our region and were delighted to help in paving the way for seven spots to be made available for players from the Mercedes-Benz Tour,” said Chris Jordan, Senior Vice President, Golf, World Sport Group.

The final event on the Mercedes-Benz Tour this year where the six qualifiers will be determined is the Mercedes-Benz Masters Indonesia at Emeralda Golf and Country Club – just outside Jakarta.

This event will be played from October 20 to 23 and as the Tour Championship it is restricted to the top-60 players from the Money List.
Competitors now head for the Singha Pattaya Open at Burapha Golf Club from April 29 to May 2. The Mercedes-Benz Tour boasts 10 tournaments offering a total purse of US$580,000.

Rosales Returns from Career Threatening Injury

April 19: Gerald Rosales, the brother of LPGA Tour star Jennifer Rosales, completed a successful comeback to the game at the Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines at the weekend after an 18-month hiatus due to a career threatening injury.

Rosales, once the golden boy of golf in Southeast Asia, fired four battling rounds of 73, 71, 72 and 76 to finish four over and get his career back on track.

The Filipino had been forced to stop playing when tendinitis crept into his wrist and elbow. The discomfort reached a peak during the Selangor Masters in August 2008 where he was forced to pull out on the second day and turn his attention to healing the injury.

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Murakami storms to victory

Carmona, Cavite, April 17: Artemio Murakami from the Philippines timed his run to perfection and came out of the pack to win the US$60,000 Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines.

Murakami birdied the final two holes while others were making mistakes to record a last gasp victory at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

He closed with a final round five-under-par 67 to beat compatriots Jay Bayron and Angelo Que and Manila-based Dutchman Guido Van Der Valk by a shot.
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Bayron closes in on Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines

Carmona, Cavite, April 16: Filipino Jay Bayron topped the leaderboard in the Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines for the third successive day after he and compatriot Mars Pucay survived a watery finish.

Bayron fired a two-under-par 70 at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club to finish two ahead of Pucay, who carded the same score.

In the opening event of the season on the Mercedes-Benz Tour Bayron leads on 13-under-par 203.
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Bayron sets the pace

Carmona, Cavite, April 15: Filipino Jay Bayron maintained his lead at the halfway mark of the Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

He shot a four-under-par 68 for a one shot advantage over compatriot Juvic Pagunsan, who came in with a best of the day 66.

Filipino Mars Pucay is a further stroke back after shooting a 68, in the opening event of the season on the Mercedes-Benz Tour.
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Inspired Bayron leads in the Philippines

Carmona, Cavite, April 14: Jay Bayron has much on his mind with his wife expecting in three months but it has clearly had a positive effect on his game as he took the first round lead in the US$60,000 Mercedes-Benz Masters Philippines.

The highly regarded Filipino carded an inspired seven-under-par 65 at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in the opening event of the season on the Mercedes-Benz Tour.

His countrymen Mars Pucay and Rey Pagunsan and Nicholas Fung from Malaysia shot 67.
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Namchok puts faith in Buddhism

April 13, Cavite: Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul is hoping that the calming influence of Buddhism will help him to further success on this season’s Mercedes-Benz Tour which tees off on Wednesday in the Philippines.

Namchok, last year’s Order of Merit winner on the Mercedes-Benz Tour, was among a group of Thai players who immersed themselves in Buddhism during a recent visit to an institute in India.

He entered the monkhood for eight days at The Bodhigaya Vijjalaya Institute 980 in the area where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
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