Chowrasia maintains lead on Asian Tour Order of Merit

September 5th, 2011 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 5 (IANS) India?s S.S.P. Chowrasia continued to lead the race to become the Asian Tour?s Order of Merit champion despite the disappointment of missing the halfway cut at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland Sunday.

Chowrasia, winner of the season-opening Avantha Masters on home soil, has accumulated $410,077 thus far but his lead was trimmed by second-placed Siddikur of Bangladesh, who earned $33,526 for his tied 18th place finish at Crans Montana.

Siddikur cemented his position on the rankings with his season?s haul of $223,462, which is $186,615 behind the leader. But with many more lucrative tournaments lined up on the Asian Tour until mid-December, the Bangladeshi is casting his eyes on the region?s most sought after prize.

Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee remained in third position where his $18,912 cheque for finishing equal 35th raised his season?s tally to $175,220. Thongchai is the only man to win three Order of Merit crowns in Asian Tour history.

At this stage, it is Siddikur who looks to have the best chance of overhauling Chowrasia.

?I have been improving and I feel I have accomplished the goal to narrow Chowrasia?s lead. That was the plan at the start of the week and I have done that. We still have many tournaments left on the Asian Tour and this sets me up pretty nicely,? said Siddikur.

The 26-year-old, who made history last season by winning the Brunei Open to become the first Bangladeshi winner on the Asian Tour, has continued to revel on golf?s big stage. He could have finished a lot higher in Switzerland if not for late blemishes during his weekend rounds.

He is hoping to give himself a chance of rewriting more golf history by becoming the Order of Merit champion this year.

?I am playing with a lot of confidence now and obviously a win will cap a great year for me. My goal is to win the Order of Merit and to do that, I need to win one big tournament. It will be great news for golf in Bangladesh if I can win the Order of Merit.

South Africa?s Jbe Kruger is fourth on the rankings with $156,484, followed by Chile?s Felipe Aguilar on $136,837.

The Asian Tour heads to Singapore this week for the second edition of the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic which starts at Orchid Country Club Thursday. Peter Karmis of South Africa will be defending his title.

Asian Tour Order of Merit - Top-20

1. S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND) $410,077
2. Siddikur (BAN) $223,462
3. Thongchai Jaidee (THA) $175,220
4. Jbe Kruger(RSA) $156,484
5. Felipe Aguilar (CHI) $136,837
6. Shiv Kapur (IND) $130,804
7. Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) $128,814
8. Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) $119,198
9. Prayad Maksaeng (THA) $109,244
10. Sujjan Singh (IND) $108,318
11. Anirban Lahiri (IND) $75,885
12. Joonas Granberg (FIN) $74,987
13. Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) $74,850
14. Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) $70,636
15. Chapchai Nirat (THA) $69,646
16. Angelo Que (PHI) $65,501
17. Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) $65,096
18. Chawalit Plaphol (THA) $63,640
19. Marcus Both (AUS) $63,471
20. Berry Henson (USA) $59,554

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