Jeev hopes to close in on Brown in Order of Merit race

November 10th, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sentosa, Nov 10 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh will once again try and make a charge on Mark Brown’s lead in the race for the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit title as the contest resumes at the US$5 million Barclays Singapore Open this week. The leading contenders are Brown of New Zealand, India’s Jeev and reigning number one Liang Wen-chong of China.The top trio failed to feature on the leaderboard at the HSBC Champions with Liang settling for tied 24th place, Singh at 28th position and Brown, the current Merit leader, in a disappointing 53rd spot.

Brown, tops the race to become the region’s number one with his haul of US$750,130. Singh, Asia’s number one in 2006, is second at US$613,106 followed by Liang on US$448,428.

India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia will have to turn his form around if he is to maintain his challenge for the prestigious title after finishing tied 68th in Shanghai. He is fourth with US$443,605 but trails Brown by over US$300,000.

Compatriot Arjun Atwal, who regained his US PGA Tour card by finishing 17th on the Nationwide Tour money list, will compete in Sentosa in hope of improving his fifth-place where he has won US$430,201.

“I would like to have the chance to win the Order of Merit title again. If I play well in Singapore and Hong Kong (next week), which are big events, I can possibly move up as I’m not too far behind the leader,” said Atwal, who was Asia’s number one in 2003.

With a cheque of US$792,500 on offer for the champion of the Barclays Singapore Open and the runner-up taking home US$542,500, the make-up of the Order of Merit list could well change dramatically after the conclusion of Asia’s richest national Open.

Brown will be hoping that a return to the Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course will help turn his fortunes around.

“I didn’t play really well this week but it’s a brand new week for me again in Singapore. I played pretty well there last year, finishing in the top-10 and I hope to do well again this year,” said the Kiwi.

Liang, winner of the Hero Honda Indian Open last month, is not discounting the possibility of challenging for a second straight Merit title after moving up from fifth to third place on the rankings.

Only Kang Wook-soon of Korea and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee have won two Order of Merit crowns in the history of the Asian Tour.

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