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Thaworn Wiratchant named Asian Golfer of the Year

Thailand 's Thaworn Wiratchant was toasted at the Johnnie Walker Classic Gala Dinner on Saturday night when he was awarded the prestigious Johnnie Walker Asian Golfer of the Year title for 2005.

The 39-year-old Thaworn was selected for the top award by a panel of judges after a sensational season in 2005 which saw him lift a career first Asian Tour Order of Merit crown.

The Thai, who possesses a unique golf swing and has the touch of a magician around the greens, wrote several new pages in Asian golf history when he claimed an unprecedented four titles last season, winning the Standard Chartered Indonesia Open, Taiwan Open, Hero Honda Indian Open and Carlsberg Masters Vietnam.

Thaworn's win in Indonesia made him the second Thai after Thongchai Jaidee , a former winner of the Johnnie Walker Asian Golfer of the Year, to triumph in a European Tour-sanctioned event.

Such was his imperious form in 2005 that he broke the season-earnings record with a haul of US$510,122, becoming the first player to surpass the half million dollar mark. He also holds the honour of holding the most number of wins with eight titles in Asia .

England 's Paul Casey was named the Johnnie Walker Young Player of the Year following a glorious 2005 where he continued to stamp his mark as one of the world's most exciting players.

Casey, currently ranked 52nd in the world, triumphed twice on the European Tour in 2005, lifting the TCL Classic in China and then capturing the Volvo China Open later in the year, both wins coming prevailing in a play-off.

The talented Englishman, who featured in Europe 's victorious Ryder Cup team in 2004, has also worked closely with Johnnie Walker in Phuket , Thailand , assisting them in their efforts to raise funds for the Keep Walking Asian Tsunami Fund.

February 14, 2006


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