Sentosa, Singapore: India’s SSP Chawrasia was at fourth spot while Australia’s Marcus Fraser continued his stranglehold on the Asian Tour Order of Merit despite having to settle for a runner-up finish at the Panasonic Open Golf Championship over the weekend.
Although the Australian could not surmount a late challenge to pip Japanese champion Yuta Ikeda to the title, he was still all smiles, knowing he had done just about enough to keep his closest rivals at bay for now.
“The Order of Merit is always on the back of your mind and to come out here to finish tied second is a great confidence booster.
“I wasn’t expecting much when I came here but I just wanted to put another number up for the Order of Merit,” said Fraser.
With a close eye on the hectic schedule ahead, the 37-year-old is pleased his comfortable lead of more than US$300,000 over second-placed Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines will help strengthen his bid of becoming the first Australian to lift the prestigious Order of Merit title at the end of the year.
“I came here trying to get another number up because the schedule will be busy towards the end of the year.
“To come here and play well and add more money on the Order of Merit is a huge bonus,” said Fraser.
Meanwhile India’s Shiv Kapur made one of the biggest moves on the money list, jumping 17 spots up to 16th place following a tied-fifth finish in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Kapur, who grabbed the third round lead at the Japan showpiece, was not able to replicate his fine form on the final day.
However, he believes his battling spirit will eventually see him prevail and end a 11-year title drought on the Asian Tour.
“I’m obviously disappointed not to play better in the final round but I’m also proud with the fact that I came back, fought hard and made a couple of birdies in my last four holes.
“Today is a big stepping stone because I finish top-10 in the Indian Open and top-five here. It is a huge building block for the rest of the year. Hopefully the win is just around the corner,” said Kapur.
The Asian Tour will head to the international financial and lifestyle destination of Mauritius for the second edition of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open next month.
The €1 million (approximately US$1.09 million) event Open is the only tri-sanctioned tournament on the Asian, Sunshine and European Tours.
It will be played for the first time at the Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius from May 12-15.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
Marcus FRASER (AUS) $637,261.68
Miguel TABUENA (PHI) $323,297.78
Soomin LEE (KOR) $316,112.25
S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) $310,551.07
Scott HEND (AUS) $296,142.00
Jeunghun WANG (KOR) $280,497.22
Younghan SONG (KOR) $224,772.50
Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) $197,985.00
Shaun NORRIS (RSA) $166,368.75
K.T. KIM (KOR) $150,500.38
Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $144,178.00
Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) $127,239.44
Angelo QUE (PHI) $120,125.76
Rahil GANGJEE (IND) $113,602.94
Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $102,135.57
Shiv KAPUR (IND) $99,220.96
Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) $99,072.18
Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) $97,956.80
Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) $94,307.85
David LIPSKY (USA) $87,066.04