Overseas Watch: Harding does it again

Mon 11 Mar 2019

Overseas Watch: Harding does it again

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March 11: It was another week to remember for South Africa’s Justin Harding in Qatar. After setting the Asian Tour alight with two back-to-back victories in Indonesia and Thailand last year, Harding is now taking the European Tour by storm with his breakthrough in the Middle East.

Former Asian Tour and European Tour professional, Olle Nordberg breaks down Harding’s latest win and recaps the performances of our Asian Tour stars from Qatar to Orlando. - All in this week’s edition of Overseas Watch.

By Olle Nordberg, Former Asian Tour and European Tour professional

European Tour- Commercial Bank Qatar Open

It was a breakthrough European Tour win for South Africa’s Justin Harding at the Commercial Bank Qatar Open yesterday. Firing a final round six-under-par 66 on Sunday, Harding beat nine players in tied second place to take home the trophy by two shots with his winning total of13-under-par 275. In a round that included eight birdies and two bogeys, Harding birdied his last two holes, and three out of his last four.

With the victory also comes 24 very important Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points which propelled Harding to 52nd place. What this means is that he now has a lock on a start in the WGC Dell Matchplay in Austin, Texas at the end of March, and is closing in on the OWGR top 50 and an invitation the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia in April.

The winner of the Oman Open on the European Tour a couple of weeks ago, American Kurt Kitayama closed the week with an even-par 72 and a tie for 20th place together with fellow Asian Tour players Jake McLeod (73) and Masahiro Kawamura (71) after signing off with a four-day total of seven-under-par 281.

Malaysian number one and 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Gavin Green finished the week tied for 31st with a one-under-par 71 and a five-under-par total, a score that he also shared with Gaganjeet Bhullar (68) of India.

Also making the weekend in Qatar was Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee who settled on a one-over-par total and tied 72nd place.

Kiradech finishes tied-23rd at Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard

Over in the United States, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat wrapped up his week in Orlando with a one-under-par 71 that included three birdies against two bogeys.

Kiradech, who is the first player from Thailand to gain full membership from Thailand, finished in a share of 23rd place after closing with a four-day total of four-under-par 284.

In the field at Bay Hill was also India’s Anirban Lahiri, who after making the cut, had to endure a rough weekend at the difficult course and eventually finished in tied-69th place after he signed off with a one-over-par 73 for an eight-over-par 296 total.

The event was won by Italy’s Francesco Molinari who posted a bogey-free eight-under-par 64 to finish two shots clear of overnight leader Matthew Fitzpatrick on 12-under-par 276.