Singh and Chinarat win Johnnie Walker awards
Jeev Milkha Singh walked away with another accolade to add to his
growing stature when he was named the Johnnie Walker Asian Player
of the Year for 2006.
Singh was honoured at the Johnnie Walker "Keep Walking"
Golf Awards on Saturday night at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Hotel
in Phuket, which coincided with this week's staging of the prestigious
Johnnie Walker Classic at Blue Canyon Country Club on the island
Local hero Chinarat Phadungsil of Thailand was picked as the Johnnie
Walker Asian Rising Star while Spaniard Alvaro Quiros secured the
Johnnie Walker Young Player of the Year Award.
Singh enjoyed a terrific season in 2006, winning four times around
the world. After a seven-year winless run, the Indian star claimed
victory at the Volvo China Open in Beijing before finishing his
year strongly by winning the European Tour's season-ending Volvo
Masters in Spain and recording back-to-back triumphs in Japan.
He sweetened his year by lifting his first Asian Tour's UBS Order
of Merit crown and ended 2006 in 37th place on the Official World
Golf Ranking, which guaranteed him a start in the prestigious US
Chinarat, 18, is one of Asia's most promising talents. Last year,
he triumphed at the Crowne Plaza Open in China, just a year after
he made history by becoming the youngest winner in the region when
he won the Double A International Open on home soil while still
Quiros is amongst a band of emerging young Spaniards and he showed
his mettle by lifting the Alfred Dunhill Championship, beating world-class
players Ernie Els and Lee Westwood, in South Africa.
The Awards, a highlight on the annual golfing calendar, were created
over a decade ago by Johnnie Walker to recognise personal progress
and inspire others to pursue their own dreams and goals, in the
spirit of Johnnie Walkers Keep Walking message.
The other players who were nominated for the Johnnie Walker Asian
Player of the Year were Korean Yang Yong-eun and Prom Meesawat of
Ben Anderson, Global Brand Director, Johnnie Walker, saluted the
winners. Jeev Milkha Singh is a fine example which clearly
reflects our 'Keep Walking' values. He endured a seven-year winless
run because of injuries but through his determination and commitment,
he went on to achieve great things in 2006," said Anderson.
"Chinarat Phadungsil is a player that many of us will follow
very closely in the coming years after making such a wonderful impact
in the game. At only 18, he has already won twice in Asia, a remarkable
achievement for a player his age.
"The Organising Committee members are also delighted to honour
Alvaro Quiros who has shown that he has the pedigree to excel in
this great game. We salute all the winners."
Past winners of the Johnnie Walker Asian Golfer of the Year include
Thailands Boonchu Ruangkit in 1995, Kyi Hla Han, the Executive
Chairman of the Asian Tour, in 1998 and Koreas Choi Kyung-ju
March 4, 2007