Battle for Asian Tour merit title shapes up as Chawrasia surges to fourth place with Indian Open win

SSP Chowrasia indian openSentosa: The battle for coveted Asian Tour Order of Merit crown is shaping up following India’s SSP Chawrasia’s latest win on home soil over the weekend.

Chawrasia’s popular victory at the Delhi Golf Club surged him to fourth place, trailing Australian merit leader Marcus Fraser by slightly over US$200,000 with seven events played on the Asian Tour so far.

The Indian credited his never-say-die attitude which played a pivotal role in sealing his return to the champions club after two years.

“My hunger to win kept increasing after every loss. That’s what kept me going whenever I went through a low phase.

“Looking back, I feel that missing the cuts in the last three weeks made me hungrier for the Hero Indian Open,” said Chawrasia.

If the early performances on the Asian Tour is any indication of the exciting season ahead, fans can expect a keenly-fought battle for the prestigious merit title which will go down to the wire come December.

Fraser may have taken the early pole position when he ended his six-year title drought by winning the Maybank Championship Malaysia.

However, Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena, who is in second place on the Order of Merit, has also issued his own statement of intent with several worthy performances including tied-fourth and second finishes at the SMBC Singapore Open and the Maybank Championship Malaysia respectively.

“I’m in a good position on the Order of Merit. While it’s still very early in the season, I’m telling myself that I’ve a good opportunity to challenge for the title and I’ll try my best,” said Tabuena.

Korea’s Soomin Lee has also made a blistering start to the season with three top-10s in his first four starts which played a huge role in taking him up to third place on the money list.

The Korean came within a whisker of his maiden breakthrough in Malaysia but suffered a late meltdown which saw victory slip away from his grasp.

He also enjoyed a creditable tied- 22nd place finish at the ISPS Handa Perth International, which was the first time since 2009 that the Asian Tour last sanctioned an event in Australia.

“I may not have won yet but I always believe my time will come if I continue to believe in myself and play true to form,” said Lee.

The Asian Tour will next head to the Land of the Rising Sun for the Panasonic Open Golf Championship.

The ¥150,000,000 event is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) and will be played at the Chiba Country Club from April 21-24.

Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20

Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)

Marcus FRASER (AUS) $522,402.97
Miguel TABUENA (PHI) $320,303.25
Soomin LEE (KOR) $316,112.25
S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) $310,551.07
Scott HEND (AUS) $296,142.00
Jeunghun WANG (KOR) $238,792.57
Younghan SONG (KOR) $224,772.50
Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) $197,985.00
Shaun NORRIS (RSA) $166,368.75
Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $144,178.00
Angelo QUE (PHI) $116,289.32
Rahil GANGJEE (IND) $109,766.50
Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) $97,956.80
Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) $95,235.74
Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $88,954.17
Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) $88,017.97
David LIPSKY (USA) $87,066.04
Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) $82,116.38
Nathan HOLMAN (AUS) $75,000.00
Chapchai NIRAT (THA) $73,317.17