If the World Cup was held this week…

Tue 23 Jul 2013

If the World Cup was held this week…

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Singapore, July 23: Three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will be highest-ranked Asian to spearhead the region’s challenge at the World Cup of Golf if the qualifying cut from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) was made today.
The Thai ace, who finished tied 32nd in last week’s Open Championship, is currently ranked 58th in the world and will lead a total of 11 Asian Tour members to the World Cup which will be held at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia from November 21-24, 2013.
This year’s edition will see a change in qualifying criteria with eligibility taken from the OWGR.
Up to four players can qualify, per country, if they are in the top 15 of the OWGR.
For players who are ranked beyond 15th, only a maximum of two players per country can qualify. If two or more players from a country qualify, then the country is eligible for the team competition, with the top-two players comprising the qualified team.
The qualification system for the event is similar to that which will be used in the Olympic Games, when golf returns to the program in 2016.  The field will also include 60 players.
Current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand will join countryman Thongchai in the top-60 field while India will be well represented by two of their finest talents, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri who are currently ranked 141 and 159 respectively.
Liang Wen-chong (168th), who earned the distinction of being the first player from China to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2007, will also tee up alongside the world’s best in Australia alongside 2011 Merit winner Juvic Pagunsan (212th) of the Philippines.
Other Asian Tour members in the elite field include Honorary Member K.J. Choi of Korea(96th), Vijay Singh of Fiji (154th), Chile’s Felipe Aguilar (134th), Brazil’s Adilson da Silva (226th) and Bangladesh’s Siddikur (251st)
Four-time Major champion Ernie Els, who recently accepted an invitation to become an Honorary Member and International Ambassador of the Asian Tour, will also make his World Cup appearance after being ranked 14th.
Antonio Lascuna of Philippines (381st) and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang (382nd) are currently in sixth and seventh place on the reserves list.
The cut-off date for eligibility to the 2013 World Cup of Golf in Melbourne is September 23.
The World Cup will boast an US$8 million total purse and returns to an individual, stroke-play competition for US$7 million, with a team component (adding the total scores of two-man teams) for US$1 million.
The Asian Tour offers the most OWGR points throughout the year in the region. Last year, the Asian Tour offered a total of 2,975 OWGR points to players.
Its secondary circuit, the Asian Development Tour, started to offer OWGR points from its 2013 season onwards which along with the Asian Tour now offer the best possible route for golfers in Asia to earn places in the World Cup and subsequently into the Olympics in 2016 when golf makes a welcome return.
Ends.