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Simon Yates passes $1m on Asian Tour

Scotsman Simon Yates' 10-year love affair with Asia has propelled him to become only the fourth golfer to join the elite million-dollar club in career earnings.

The Asian Tour stalwart, who started plying his trade in the region in 1995, has accumulated US$1,005,866 from 171 tournaments and he is ranked only behind Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, who leads the career earnings list with US$1.42 million, and Indian duo Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa.

Since moving from Glasgow to the sunny beaches of Hua Hin in Thailand, the slightly built Yates has firmly established himself as one of the stars on the Asian Tour. An exciting player to watch and rated as one of the best ball strikers on Tour, he has won twice in the region and has 10 runner-up finishes.

"I have really enjoyed playing golf out here in Asia over the past 10 years," said Yates, who will compete in this week's Carlsberg Malaysian Open, jointly sanctioned with the European Tour.

"Like everybody else, it has been a learning process but over the last five years my thinking and ball striking has improved a lot and this has meant better results.

"Breaking the million dollar mark is nice but I am sure many others will do the same in the near future as the Asian Tour is growing every year and so is the prize money."

Yates, who finished third on last year's Order of Merit, broke through the seven-figure barrier with a tied 33rd finish in the Asian Tour's previous stop in Singapore. In fact, he ended last season just US$239 short of a million dollars but his finish at the Caltex Masters presented by Carlsberg, Singapore saw him earn US$6,105 and placed him in exclusive company.

"It was nice making the cut in Singapore and shooting a 67 in the last round. It always makes you feel better especially when I was sitting in reserve money and I moved up around 50 spots on the last day to finish in the middle of the pack," said Yates.

Yates, nicknamed the "Wee Man" by his peers, will tee off at Saujana Golf and Country Club this week in the US$1.21 million Carlsberg Malaysian Open looking for another sparkling show.

"I do like Saujana a lot. It is hard to scramble and to have a good score around this golf course you must be on your 'A' game," said Yates.

Thongchai, last season's Asian Tour number one, will defend his title in Kuala Lumpur after becoming the first Thai to win a European Tour-sanctioned event here 12 months ago.

Top-20 Career Money List (US$)

1. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 1,427,270

2. Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 1,226,005

3. Arjun ATWAL (IND) 1,018,177

4. Simon YATES (SCO) 1,005,866

5. KANG Wook-soon (KOR) 966,362

6. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 954,532

7. Charlie WI (KOR) 883,063

8. Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA) 881,595

9. Thammanoon SRIROT (THA) 862,246

10. Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 837,513

11. ZHANG Lian-wei (CHN) 805,350

12. Craig KAMPS (RSA) 738,031

13. James KINGSTON (RSA) 662,528

14. Mike CUNNING (USA) 651,774

15. Gerry NORQUIST (USA) 635,770

16. Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 616,187

17. Andrew PITTS (USA) 598,003

18. Simon DYSON (ENG) 561,684

19. Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 556,512

20. LU Wen-teh (TPE) 526,046


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