Chia eyes EurAsia Cup spot after Taipei triumph

Mon 05 Oct 2015

Chia eyes EurAsia Cup spot after Taipei triumph

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Sentosa, Singapore, October 5: Malaysia’s Danny Chia is eyeing an automatic spot in Team Asia for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in January after leapfrogging to eighth position on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit following his long-awaited second Tour victory on Sunday.
The 42-year-old veteran took his season’s tally to a career high US$188,138 after winning the Mercuries Taiwan Masters by two shots from China’s Liang Wen-chong.
With the leading four Asian golfers on the Merit list as at December 14 earning selection into Team Asia, Chia currently occupies the final slot.
Four more places are available through the Official World Golf Ranking while Team Asia Captain Jeev Milkha Singh will have four picks to face Europe at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from January 15-17.
“It will be great if I can get into the EurAsia Cup. Playing in it will definitely be a good experience. I’m happy to take up the challenge if I have the opportunity,” said Chia.
Countryman Nicholas Fung was a captain’s pick last year when Asia fought back to a thrilling 10-10 tie with Europe and Chia hopes to get into the thick of action. “I watched the first EurAsia Cup and I thought the draw was great. It was really exciting,” he said.
Following the conclusion of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, India’s Anirban Lahiri still occupies the top spot on the Order of Merit with US$925,484, followed by Australian Andrew Dodt on US$377,136. S.S.P. Chawrasia of India is third with US$267,244.
Chia’s return into the winner’s enclosure has been a journey of redemption. Two years ago, he thought he would not be playing competitive golf after suffering from compressed nerves which saw his right arm paralysed briefly.
Surgeons fused a four-inch titanium plate with two screws between his C4 and C5 vertebrae on his spinal chord to alleviate the pressure and Chia subsequently began his long road to recovery.
“I guess the hard work is starting to pay off,” said Chia, who had won on the Asian Development Tour three weeks ago. “I am working closely with my physiotherapist and I’m not focusing so much on my game but working on my physical side and getting stronger. It has helped.”
Chia admitted he was nervous coming down the stretch after seizing the lead with a fast start in the final round. “I thought I controlled my game really well, especially my mental game,” said Chia.
“I think that’s the key to my victory. But I was really nervous heading into the last five holes. I tried to not think too much and focused on every shot, but I could help feeling nervous.
“I thought my hands were shaking but I was actually shaking inside. I couldn’t sleep last (Saturday) night. It’s been so long since I last won.”
Liang, winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2007, moved up to 17th place on the Order of Merit after picking up a runner-up cheque of US$78,000, which raised his season’s earnings to US$108,052.
“A second place finish will boost my rankings on the Asian Tour,” said Liang. “This will set me for the next few weeks in Japan and on the Asian Tour. I definitely hope to win if I have the opportunity but I will take home the positives from this week and hopefully, I can win again soon.”
Asian Tour Order of Merit (Top-20)
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 925,484
2. Andrew DODT (AUS) 377,136
3. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 267,244
4. Scott HEND (AUS) 258,781
5. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 232,740
6. Richard T. LEE (CAN) 220,317
7. Cameron SMITH (AUS) 203,518
8. Danny CHIA (MAS) 188,138
9. Marcus FRASER (AUS) 181,299
10. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 180,305
11. Paul PETERSON (USA) 173,052
12. Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 144,867
13. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 120,034
14. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 111,105
15. Nathan HOLMAN (AUS) 109,776
16. Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 109,700
17. LIANG Wen-chong (CHN)  108,052
18. Jason KNUTZON (USA) 107,615
19. Mithun PERERA (SRI) 105,909
20. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 104,785
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.