"2015 Stars to watch: Mardan, Thaworn, Lascuna, Randhawa"

Mon 26 Jan 2015

"2015 Stars to watch: Mardan, Thaworn, Lascuna, Randhawa"

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January 26: It will be the 40-something brigade that Asiantour.com turns its attention to as we gear up for the 2015 season. Old is gold and these evergreens- Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, Philippines’ Antonio Lascuna and India’s Jyoti Randhawa are expected to continue giving their younger rivals a run for their money as the season gets underway with the US$3 million Maybank Malaysian Open in Malaysia next week.
Mardan Mamat (Sin)
The Singaporean veteran proved he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level after ending a two-year title drought with his wire-to-wire victory at the Resorts World Manila Masters last year. He believes his wealth of experience has always given him that added advantage over his younger rivals and at 47, the desire to win is still very strong.
What can we expect:
Mardan makes up for his driving accuracy and stroke average which stood at 64.75% and 72.03 respectively with his mental resolve to win at all time. He continues to embark on a punishing training schedule at the gym to keep pace with the physical rigours of the game and can surmount a big challenge especially when the odds are down.
Current World Ranking: 422
Projected World Ranking at end of 2015: Top-200
Projected Order of Merit ranking: Top-10
Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand celebrates on the the 18th green
Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha)
When Thaworn notched his 18 Asian Tour title last year, he proudly proclaimed he is still a ‘young boy’ even at 48. It came as no surprise as the two-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner still showed the same vigour and hunger to win more titles on the region’s premier Tour like a Tour rookie.
What can we expect:
With a putting average of 27.8 per round and stroke average of 71.01 in 2014, the Thai veteran still has a lot left in his game, even though he may possess an unorthodox swing. There are still no signs of slowing down for Thaworn and 2015 could be a year where he continues his bountiful harvest of titles.
Current World Ranking: 160th
Projected World Ranking at end of 2015: Top-100
Projected Order of Merit ranking: Top-10
Antnio Lascuna of the Philippines Antnio Lascuna of the Philippines
Antonio Lascuna (Phi)
Lascuna came close to winning his maiden Asian Tour title on three occasions in 2014. He finished tied second at the ICTSI Philippine Open and Mercuries Taiwan Masters and lost to Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat at the Worldwide Selangor Masters play-off before ending his season in a career high ninth place on the Order of Merit. That win on the Asian Tour still remains elusive but Lacuna has repeatedly said his time will come.
What can we expect:
After experiencing numerous near-misses, it’s time for the affable Lascuna to show up and make his long awaited entry into the winner’s circle. The 44-year-old has a 24.31% of missed cuts throughout his professional career which effectively makes him a stronger contender each time he steps up to the tee.
Current World Ranking: 161st
Projected World Ranking at end of 2015: Top-100
Projected Order of Merit ranking:  Top-10
Jyoti Randhawa of India Jyoti Randhawa of India
Jyoti Randhawa (Ind)
One of Asia’s top players, Jyoti has claimed eight career titles and also the prestigious Order of Merit crown in 2002, becoming the first Indian to achieve the feat. He was close to ending his five-year title drought at the Chiangmai Golf Classic in 2014 but was denied victory by his compatriot Rashid Khan and finished tied second.
What can we expect:
Randhawa’s stroke average of 70.74 in 2014 showed he is still right up there among the region’s best. He claims he likes to be a ‘threat to the young guys who look up to him and want to beat him.’ With the competition heating up each week, Randhawa will have the opportunity to stake his claim. The 42-year-old’s last win came in 2009 but he will fly under the radar when least expected.
Current World Ranking: 292nd
Projected World Ranking at end of 2015: Top-100
Projected Order of Merit ranking: Top-10
Ends