Lipsky aims to tighten Merit grip

Tue 28 Oct 2014

Lipsky aims to tighten Merit grip

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Kuala Lumpur, October 28: American David Lipsky is confident of tightening his grip on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit race with a worthy performance at the CIMB Classic which starts on Thursday.
Lipsky leads second-ranked Anirban Lahiri of India by slightly over US$160,000 in the race to become Asia’s new number one and there will be plenty to shoot for as the CIMB Classic offers a lucrative US$7 million prize pot in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA TOUR.
“I have a pretty sizable lead right now.  As long as I play well for the rest of the year and do what I need to do, I'm pretty confident I can win. Golf is up and down and you can't win every week but I've played well here in the past and I have good memories, so I'm looking forward to the week,” said Lipsky.
Venetian Macau Open - Round ThreeThe American, winner of the Qualifying School in 2012, claimed a wonderful victory at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland in September to lead the Merit rankings but Lahiri has reduced the gap with a second title of the year in Macau last weekend.
With a cool US$1.26 million top cheque awaiting the winner of the CIMB Classic, Lipsky knows much is at stake at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course.
A return to the challenging West Course brings back good memories for Lipsky who finished tied third at the same venue in the 2012 Malaysian Open. “I love the course and I have great memories from here,” said Lipsky, who will play the opening two rounds with title holder Ryan Moore and runner-up Gary Woodland.
“The course is in phenomenal shape. You definitely have to drive it well. Just giving yourself chances off the tee and playing the correct shots into greens is important this week. If I can just get the ball striking in shape, I think I can have a good week.  Every week this year, I've hit the ball somewhat decent. I've played well, so as long as I keep the driver in play, you know, my short game will take care of the rest,” he said.
The 26-year-old Lipsky is among the leading 10 Asian Tour players in the field which includes popular Thai Prom Meesawat, Filipinos Antonio Lascuna and Angelo Que and Australian rookie Cameron Smith.
Reigning FedEx Cup winner Billy Horschel of the United States, Major winners Jason Dufner and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa will also feature in the elite 78-man field, which has no halfway cut.
Prom, nicknamed the Big Dolphin due to his burly physique and because he hails from the coastal town of Hua Hin, hopes to recover from a sore throat as he seeks to extend his fine form after finishing tied second in Macau on Sunday.
Baek Seuk-hyun. Baek Seuk-hyun.
“I feel uncomfortable because of my throat. Hopefully we'll get through the week and try to rest as much as I can,” said Prom, who is currently fourth on the Order of Merit.
“I've been playing good for a couple of months and I hope to continue my good form. I’ve been trying to build up my confidence to play well here this week.”
Ranked 10th on the rankings, Bangkok-based Baek is hoping to redeem himself at the CIMB Classic after a disappointing tied 77th finish last year.  “I tried too hard (in 2013) and I was disappointed with how I finished. I wanted to show the PGA TOUR players that Asians can play good golf so I was very aggressive and tried to attack the pins on every hole. It was a wrong move and I paid for that,” said Baek, who has three top-fives this year.
“I’m going to play my own game this week. I’ll try to score when I can and not force myself. I should play it safe and not think of playing this event differently because there is no cut,” said the 24-year-old.
The CIMB Classic, which is sanctioned by the Professional Golf Association of Malaysia, is part of the season-long PGA TOUR FedExCup competition. The event was inaugurated in 2010 and is the only PGA TOUR event to be held in Southeast Asia.
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 8 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 19.0 billion as at 30 June and over 40,000 employees located in 18 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.
The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2013, tournaments across all Tours generated more than $134 million for local and national charitable organizations and in early 2014 the TOUR’s all-time charitable contributions surpassed $2 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.