Stolz Moves Closer To Moneylist Crown
Following his impressive victory in the US$1 million Thailand Open his second win on OneAsia this year, Andre Stolz has become the raging favourite to be crowned OneAsia's number one for 2011.
Stolz won a titanic battle with local hero Prayad Marsksaeng at Suwan Golf and Country Club to take the first prize of US$180,000 and forge ahead of world number 20 Kim Kyung-tae of Korea in the OneAsia Order of Merit.
The 41-year-old Australian dazzled with a final round 63 for a 22-under
total and a two-shot victory over Prayad who was attempting to become just the third home winner of the Thailand Open.
With Kim the GS Caltex Maekyung Open champion - playing the PGA
Championship in the United States, Stolz took the opportunity to open up a US$159,418 gap at the top of the standings.
I came to Thailand feeling like I better make some money. I better have a good week and try and get on top of the moneylist as Kim Kyung-tae is a great player, said Stolz, who has won US$433,125 in six OneAsia events this season.
At the start of the year I was not thinking about the Order of Merit but
with more than half the season gone I have a chance of winning it.
Winning a moneylist anywhere in the world is a great achievement and it
would be nice to win this one.
Stolz, who also won the season-opening Indonesia PGA Championship, credited the switch back to a short putter as the main reason for his success at the Thailand Open.
My putting has really helped me recently. (Before switching back), I reckon I could have won six or seven tournaments if it was not for the putting, he said.
I had enough of the belly putter it was going cold on me. I did not know what was going on with the stroke.
If I had 20-footer to win a tournament I would rather have a short putter than a belly putter as I make more short putts with it.
It has been good to use the short putter again and I have putted half
decent the last five or six weeks with it.
I changed after the Nanshan China Masters (in early June). I putted
horribly all week and missed a short putt at the last to get in a play off
and that made me think.
There was a (television) camera view of it it did not look too bad but
it was haunting me so I thought I had to do something and get back to the short putter.
Stolz, who won on the PGA Tour before a wrist injury in 2005 forced him to give up the game for nearly three years, is attempting a comeback in the United
States and flew to Thailand from there after making the cut in two
He is 12th alternate for this weeks Wyndham Championship and will be full of confidence if he gets a start.
I am pretty happy with my golf and my swing, he said. I feel I can win
every week now.
Stolz is a great believer in self-motivation and he focused on a few of his
personal mottos during his shootout with Prayad.
I have always been hot and cold but when I get in the mood that I am
playing good I am hard to stop, he said. Prayad was playing great as well and that
lifted me (as I knew) I had to do more. He was pushing me all the way there. I do what is required.
One of my mottos is You have got to do what is required. I just kept
looking at the leaderboard and trying to keep in front.
After holing the winning putt I showed the camera a chafe stick with the
legend Rule 76 - No excuses play like a champion from the Wedding
Crashers. My agent got a few chafe sticks made up with that on them.