Sentosa, Singapore, December 4: Malaysia’s Gavin Green will have one hand on the prized Asian Tour Order of Merit crown following the conclusion of two landmark events over the weekend.
Despite missing the cut at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, which was the first tournament to be tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour and European Tour, Green remains on course to become the first Malaysian to be crowned Asia’s number one.
The 23-year-old leads by over US$100,000 in the merit race and with two events left on the 2017 Asian Tour schedule, Green needs only to make the cut and earn slightly more than US$3,000 at this week’s Joburg Open as his closest rivals David Lipsky, S.S.P. Chawrasia and Scott Hend have opted not to tee up at the R16.5 million (approximately US$1.2 million) event.
“It has always been my dream to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit and I hope I can realise it,” said Green.
Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul’s hopes of retaining his Tour card for the 2018 Asian Tour season meanwhile received a lifeline when he finished tied-seventh at the KG S&H CITY Asian Golf Championship.
The historical event in Xiamen saw the Asian Tour made its return to China after nine years and also provide players on the bubble with a chance to retain their playing rights for 2018.
“I’m just happy that I achieved a top-10 finish. I’m now closer to a top-60 finish on the Asian Tour Order of Merit,” said Namchok.
China’s Liu Yan-wei, who marked his best result on the Asian Tour with a third place finish on home soil, was equally pleased with his performance.
“This year, I was aiming to get into the top-60 of the Asian Tour Order of Merit. My results this week would have certainly helped,” said Liu, who sits in 64th place on the money list.
The event also welcome the Asian Tour’s newest winner from China, who has now received a one-year exemption on the Tour.
“I am really honoured to be the third player from China to win on the Asian Tour. I don’t dare to compare myself against former Asian Tour winners Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Lian-wei because I have not achieved as much as they did for golf in China.
“I started playing golf in 2008 and turned professional in 2012. This is my very first professional win and it means the world to me. I enjoyed playing against the Asian Tour players in my first Asian Tour event this week so I am looking forward to playing on the Asian Tour again,” said Xiao.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. Gavin GREEN (MAS) $572,536.06
2. David LIPSKY (USA) $461,179.11
3. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) $440,747.64
4. Scott HEND (AUS) $439,229.60
5. Wade ORMSBY (AUS) $423,896.00
6. Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) $364,799.42
7. Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) $326,678.51
8. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) $305,925.43
9. Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) $284,489.61
10. Shiv KAPUR (IND) $280,930.50
11. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $272,308.02
12. Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) $269,838.67
13. Paul PETERSON (USA) $248,672.45
14. Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) $243,171.88
15. Richard T. LEE (CAN) $243,059.08
16. Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) $232,971.27
17. Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) $215,403.82
18. Younghan SONG (KOR) $208,231.59
19. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) $206,460.22
20. Miguel TABUENA (PHI) $197,906.73