Lipsky stays firmly in Merit control

Mon 08 Dec 2014

Lipsky stays firmly in Merit control

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Kuala Lumpur, December 8: With the finish line in sight, American David Lipsky stayed in prime position to lift the 2014 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown with two events remaining.
The 26-year-old Lipsky, who has led the Merit race since winning the Omega European Masters in Switzerland in September, extended his lead in the rankings to US$133,518 after finishing sixth in the Bank BRI Indonesia Open on Sunday. His season’s earnings stand at US$707,585.
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
Second-placed Anirban Lahiri of India was kicking himself after a costly triple bogey on the 72nd hole in Jakarta dropped him from sixth to equal 15th position as his 2014 tally increased to US$574,067, thanks largely to victories at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters and Venetian Macau Open this season.
Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, who is third on the Merit list, is the only other player who has a mathematical chance of winning the Order of Merit crown.  He currently trails Lipksy by US$181,414 with this week’s Thailand Golf Championship and next week’s inaugural Dubai Open to play.
Prom, who was victorious at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Taipei, withdrew from the opening round in Indonesia to preserve a sore back but will tee up at Amata Spring Country Club on Thursday along with Lipsky and Lahiri.
The Thailand Golf Championship and Dubai Open will offer US$180,000 and US$90,000 respectively to the champions, thus eliminating the fourth-ranked player, Cameron Smith of Australia, and those below him from the exciting Order of Merit race.
Lipsky was delighted to move a step closer to the Merit crown, which will come with exemptions into the British Open, World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and invitations to some high profile tournaments next year.
“Looks like I’ve increased my lead and I’m feeling pretty good about that. The goal was to play solid here (in Jakarta). Step one done and now I’ll move on to the Thailand Golf Championship and see what I can do there,” said Lipksy, who won the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School in 2012.
Prom Meesawat of Thailand Prom Meesawat of Thailand
He was pleased with the way he struck the ball in Indonesia. “It was pretty solid. I started off slowly and it was rocky in the first round. My ball striking was much better as the week progressed and I played well on the last few days,” he said.
Lahiri remained optimistic that he can reel Lipsky in with two events to go. He finished tied fourth and equal 15th in the Thailand Golf Championship in the last two editions and also qualified for the British Open at Amata Spring Country Club, this week’s venue, two years ago.
“I’ve got a lot to play for. David has a good lead and I need two solid results in the last two events. I think I’m playing well enough but I’ve got to put it together over four rounds. I haven’t done that in these last two weeks. I had a poor last round last week (in King’s Cup) and poor first round this week,” said the 27-year-old Indian, who finished tied second in the previous week’s King’s Cup in Thailand.
At the opposite end, players will be fighting to finish in the top-60 to earn full playing rights for 2015. Amongst those who are around the bubble include South Africa’s Bryce Easton (58th), Chinnarat Phadungsil of Thailand (59th), Rattanon Wannasrichan of Thailand (60th), Switzerland’s Martin Rominger (61st), India’s Chiargh Kumar (63rd), Indonesia’s George Gandranata (65th) and Singaporean Quincy Quek (68th).
Asian Tour’s Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. David LIPSKY (USA) 707,585
2. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 574,067
3. Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 526,171
4. Cameron SMITH (AUS) 427,476
5. Scott HEND (AUS) 387,820
6. Angelo QUE (PHI) 381,655
7. Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 268,882
8. Antonio LASCUNA (PHI)  253,163
9. Rashid KHAN (IND) 243,249
10. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 237,685
11. S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND) 231,435
12. Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 215,342
13. Steve LEWTON (ENG) 215,005
14. Jason KNUTZON (USA)  209,121
15. Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 205,427
16. BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 191670
17. Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 187,589
18. Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 179,440
19. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 166,801
20. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 163,812
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.