Six Indian golfers in top-10 of Asian Tour Merit list

March 3rd, 2008 - 12:29 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) A second win in as many weeks helped New Zealander Mark Brown dislodge India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia from the perch on the Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, but Indian golfers continued to dominate the standings as they held six of the top 10 places in the Money list after four events in 2008. Shiv Kapur, who finished as the top Indian at the Johnnie Walker Classic Sunday, at tied fifth place, was delighted with the Asian and Indian performances. While it was his first top-10 of the season, which helped him move to eighth place on Money list, he saw a great future for Asians.

“I had no doubt in my mind that the Indians would do well. I think we’ve showcased to the world that we could play against the top players and we stacked up against the best of them. It’s a very encouraging sign,” said Kapur, who moved up to eighth place on the Order of Merit.

Indians have had at least two players in the top-10 in each of the last four events - the Emaar-MGF Indian Masters, Astro Enjoy Indonesia Open, SAIL Open presented by Jaypee Greens and the Johnnie Walker Classic. Overall Indians have had 10 top-10 finishes from eight players with Jyoti Randhawa alone finishing in top-10 three times in the last three events.

From an Asian point of view, Asian Tour stars have won two and finished second in another in the last three European Tour events, which have also been co-sanctioned with Asian Tour.

With Asian Tour members winning two of the three co-sanctioned events with the European Tour this season, Brown believes that the rising standard of play on the Asian Tour deserves more respect and recognition.

“I think the Asian Tour is a very strong tour, and people who have not spent a lot of time in this area would not know that. There’re a lot of good tournaments and the courses we play are tough. So in that respect, I don’t think it’s a total surprise that you’ll have Asian Tour winners,” he said.

Brown, meanwhile, will chase a slice of golf history this week.

The New Zealander claimed a stunning second straight victory at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Gurgaon Sunday, seven days after his maiden success at the SAIL Open presented by Jaypee Greens which was also played at another town that abuts the Indian capital.

With his form and confidence in full flow, the 33-year-old will be looking to make Asian Tour history at the Maybank Malaysian Open starting Thursday as no player has ever won three tournaments in a row.

As Brown reflected on his magical two weeks in India, which took his season’s winnings to $537,833 and dislodged Chowrasia from the top of the rankings, the Kiwi dedicated his success to his father.

“He was always so supportive of my golf in a quiet sort of way. He didn’t come and watch me play, but when I told him that I was going to give it (golf) up in 2003, you could tell he was pretty disappointed in that because he always believed in me and believed that if you tried long and hard enough, you’ll succeed, and I didn’t quite hear what he was saying at the time.

“Last week was pretty emotional for me as you might have seen. I finished on the 18th green, and I was really thinking about my dad who passed away four years ago and I’ve got that out of my system. This week, to win a tournament of this magnitude is incredible and kind of life-changing, so this one is very special, also,” said Brown, who defeated a field that included Vijay Singh and Adam Scott.

Order of Merit - Top-20

Player Order of Merit ($)

1. Mark Brown (NZl) 537,833
2. S.S.P. Chowrasia (Ind) 416,660
3. Scott Strange (Aus) 194,185
4. Taichiro Kiyota (Jpn) 189,560
5. Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 175,698
6. Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 147,595
7. Digvijay Singh (Ind) 122,666
8. Shiv Kapur (Ind) 110,254
9. Prom Meesawat (Tha) 87,452
10. Arjun Atwal (Ind) 86,057
11. Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) 83,750
12. Gaurav Ghei (Ind) 73,640
13. Scott Hend (Aus) 70,033
14. Scott Barr (Aus) 63,161
15. Simon Yates (Sco) 52,294
16. Unho Park (Aus) 49,778
17. Tony Carolan (Aus) 49,717
18. Liang Wen-Chong (Chn) 46,694
19. Chris Rodgers (Eng) 46,333
20. Kane Webber (Aus) 42,342

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