2014 Reflections: Best Moments

Thu 25 Dec 2014

2014 Reflections: Best Moments

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Singapore, December 25: On Christmas Day today, we look back at some of the best moments that made the 2014 Asian Tour season such a dramatic and enthralling one.
1. EurAsia Cup ends in epic 10-10 draw
Almost everyone who followed Team Asia’s progress at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM wrote off their chances after an opening day 5-0 whitewash by Team Europe. However, the epic comeback by Team Asia led by Captain Marvel Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will be etched in the memories of many for a long time after the magnificent 10 rallied back to share the spoils with Europe which had in its stable of stars, a host of Ryder Cup players.
 
2. David Lipsky creating history to win the Omega European MastersDavid Lipsky receives a hug from his caddie Sargunan after winning the Omega European Masters(Photo courtesy of Omega European Masters)
It was a play-off that had everyone at the edge of their seats. David Lipsky vs. Graeme Storm.
History was about to be written should the 2012 Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate pull off a win against the Englishman at the Omega European Masters. An astute game plan by Lipsky meant the Korean-American would par the first play-off hole while Storm bogeyed to reign supreme as the King of the Mountains. With his career’s biggest victory, Lispky also became the first player from the Asian Tour and only the second American after Craig Stadler to taste victory in the only tournament on European soil to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
 
David Lipsky of the USA with the Asian Tour Order of Merit trophy David Lipsky of the USA with the Asian Tour Order of Merit trophy
3. The battle for the Order of Merit
It was a tensely fought battle which went down to the penultimate event of the 2014 season. Following his win at the Omega European Masters, David Lipsky’s prime position atop the money list was never threatened until India’s Anirban Lahiri started to make his move with his second win of the season at the Venetian Macau Open. The gap at the top was narrowed after each event but it was not until the Thailand Golf Championship where it mathematically not possible for Lahiri to play catch-up anymore, leaving Lipsky to lay claim on the prestigious Order of Merit trophy.
 
 
Mardan Mamat 104. Mardan Mamat put off retirement plans after win at the Resorts World Manila Masters
Relief and joy were clearly written all over Mardan’s face when he won the Resorts World Manila Masters. The Singaporean fell on his knees and kissed the ground after tapping in for par at the last hole for what was his career third start-to-finish victory. Before his fourth win on the region’s premier Tour, thoughts of calling time on his illustrious career were on the cards following prolong periods of indifferent form.
 
 
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
5. Anirban Lahiri gets his first win at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters
It has always been the case of when rather than whether Lahiri will win his first Asian Tour title abroad. And it couldn’t have come in a more dramatic fashion than at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters in April where he holed a stunning eagle on the 72nd hole to lift his fourth and first Asian Tour title outside India. Lahiri said that his mind was ‘blank’ when he was preparing to make his last putt on 18 but it soon became crystal clear that he was destined for glory.
 
 
Rashid Khan of India Rashid Khan of India
6. Khan finally savours success
Chasing success is never easy. Having swallowed the bitter pill on numerous occasions, India’s Rashid Khan never gives up. Even when success often deserted him, Khan’s pursuit of excellence was relentless. The talented Indian’s destiny with greatness would eventually come on home soil when he claimed a play-off victory over Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman on home soil at the SAIL-SBI Open on home soil.
 
 
Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand
7. Thongchai on a high in world order
It has been a sensational year for Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, having captained Team Asia to a thrilling 10-10 draw with Team Europe at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in March before going on to win his second title on European soil in Sweden in June. Together with nine top-10s around the globe in 2014, the Thai maestro, who also holds an unprecedented three Order of Merit crowns ended the year with his career’s best of 37th position in the world.
 
 
Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand celebrates on the the 18th green. Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand celebrates on the the 18th green.
8. It just keeps getting better for Thaworn
The joy of winning never ends for Thaworn Wiratchant. Even at 47, the Thai veteran’s hunger for success is still strong. He stamped his class with a record 18th Asian Tour win at the King’s Cup to complete his royal collection having also won the Queen’s Cup in June as well.
 
 
 
Arjun Atwal celebrate his win with his two sons. Arjun Atwal celebrate his win with his two sons.
9. Atwal restores former glory in Dubai
For four long and painful years, India’s Arjun Atwal was searching for the form that led him to become Asia’s number one in 2003 and the first Indian to win on the PGA TOUR. Beset by injuries and losing his card on the PGA TOUR, Atwal resorted to relying on the goodwill of sponsors to tee up at events. He repaid the faith of everyone who believed in him by winning the inaugural Dubai Open and described the winning feeling as one the is even ‘greater’ that his win on the PGA TOUR.