In competitive golf, positions can change hands in an instant. As a case in point, Dustin Johnson had to settle for tied-2nd at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions despite a six-shot cushion going into the final round.
Similarly, in the race for the Asian Tour Order of Merit (OOM), a good showing at a lucrative tournament can certainly push a golfer ahead of his peers. A big move has not happened for S.S.P. Chawrasia yet, but his excellent performance at the Panasonic Open India has consolidated his position on the OOM and he will be riding on his momentum going into the final weeks of the Asian Tour schedule.
Chawrasia carded a total of 14-under-par 274 at the Delhi Golf Club to finish tied-2nd. The Indian golfer also took home a prize purse of US$20,017. With his total earnings of US$360,778, he is fourth on the OOM, ahead of compatriot Anirban Lahiri (US$320,150) and behind Australia’s Scott Hend (US$434,029). Malaysia’s Gavin Green (US$542,536) and United States’ David Lipsky (US$461,179) are in first and second respectively on the OOM.
“It was a good week. I missed out on another win by three shots, but overall I’m playing well and that’s a good sign. I am also chasing the Order of Merit title and playing for a place at the EurAsia Cup. There are still four more events left on the Asian Tour for me and all I need is one good week in any of these events and I could be up there,” said a confident Chawrasia.
Top honours went to the evergreen Shiv Kapur. The 35-year-old, who won the 2017 Yeangder Heritage earlier this year, shot a total of 271 to win the Panasonic Open India by three shots. Prior to 2017, the last time Kapur won an Asian Tour title was 11 years ago in 2005 at the Volvo Masters of Asia. Naturally, he was ecstatic to win again, at his home country no less.
“I grew up playing golf here and told myself I got to win at the Delhi Golf Club one day. So, no words can actually describe how I’m feeling right now. The reception I got when I was coming up the 18 was just amazing. It was well worth the wait,” said Kapur.
With his win, Kapur now leads the Panasonic Swing, an aggregate points race that spans five events – in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan and where Asian Tour players have an opportunity to shoot for a share of the lucrative bonus pool of US$150,000.
This week, the Asian Tour will be heading to the US$1 million Resorts World Manila Masters, where Chawrasia will defend his title.