Jazz Janewattananond is the surprise package of this week’s US PGA Championship so far, sitting in a tie for second at Bethpage after three rounds.
Even more surprising is his background.
The 23-year-old Thai, who turned professional in 2010, just weeks after his 15th birthday, briefly turned his back on golf – to become a MONK!
Janewattananond entered the monkhood in Chiang Rai for two weeks at the end of the 2016 season as a disciple of Phra Maha Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi.
A few weeks later, he won for the first time on the Asian Tour.
“I learned from him that happiness is the greatest thing in life,” Janewattananond told Thai media in 2017. “Before that, golf was everything to me, and it gave me so much pressure during competition. I have been competing with less pressure ever since and starting getting better results.
“I was instructed by the monk to learn to give. So I start making merit and donating some of my prize money to needy children and charity. When you have more than enough, it’s better to share it with others who are in difficulties.”
Assuming he finishes no worse than fifth at Bethpage, he’ll walk away from the year’s second major at least $450,500 richer.