Stars to watch in new 2014 season

Tue 25 Feb 2014

Stars to watch in new 2014 season

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Anirban Lahiri (Ind)
In a remarkable season, Lahiri won his third Asian Tour victory at the SAIL-SBI Open to end the season in third position on the Order of Merit, his career’s best so far. He came close to winning his first Asian Tour title outside of India but had to settle for three runner-up results.
His dazzling display on the golf course and easy-going demeanour outside the ropes earned him the admiration from his peers and golf fans across the globe. He will also be part of Team Asia for the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM next month who will face Team Europe.
Lahiri is still searching for his first win outside of India and once he finds his winning touch outside of his comfort zone, the talented Indian will be a force to be reckoned with. Many are also predicting that Lahiri has the game to be a future Asian Tour number one.
Scott Hend (Aus)
Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia
The big-hitting Australian is one of the most successful international golfers on the Asian Tour. The former PGA Tour player enjoyed his best season in 2013 where he won three Asian Tour titles and finished second on the Order of Merit.
The new 2014 season will be Hend’s eighth year on the region’s premier Tour and he is expected to add more titles to his tally of five Asian Tour victories. Packed with powerful drives and a deft short game, Hend will certainly be one of the star performers this year.
Siddikur Rahman (Ban)
Siddikur’s stature has grown tremendously on and off the golf course since joining the Asian Tour in 2009. His consistency is evident as the Bangladeshi has finished inside the top-10 on the Order of Merit in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
He won the 2013 Hero Indian Open to end a frustrating wait for his second Asian Tour triumph since winning the Brunei Open in 2010. His victory at the Delhi Golf Club pushed him to fourth on the Order of Merit to earn him a spot in Team Asia for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
In a stellar 2013 season, Siddikur earned five top-five results to become the first Bangladeshi to play in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf in Australia. He qualified for the prestigious event through the Official World Golf Ranking where he earned points on the Asian Tour.
With his confidence at an all-time high, Siddikur is tipped to continue his consistent run in 2014 and notch his third Asian Tour title.
Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha)
Just like his age, Thaworn’s trophies on the Asian Tour keeps increasing every year. He won an unprecedented 16th Asian Tour title at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Chinese Taipei last season to finish 20th on the Order of Merit.
By his standards, the 2013 season was a relatively quiet year for the two-time Order of Merit winner but Thaworn has the ability to turn his game around in the new season.
He turns 48 in December, 2014 and asiantour.com predicts that he will win at least 20 titles, starting with another two victories in 2014 before going on to win two more events before he turns 50.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind)
Gaganjeet Bhullar of India Gaganjeet Bhullar of India
The reigning Order of Merit winner Kiradech will turn his focus to the US PGA Tour and European Tour this season while Bhullar will also be playing regularly in Europe. They will form part of Team Asia for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM and the Team Captain Thongchai Jaidee will rely on them to carry the team.
Kiradech is currently ranked 67th on the Official World Golf Ranking and he will be on a mission to break inside the top-50 by the end of the 2014 season. We expect him to win another title this year and shine on the Major stage.
We are also predicting a big season for Bhullar in Europe and earning full points in the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM!
Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)
Thongchai has been an ambassador for Asian golf for many seasons and he will continue to do so in 2014.
For starters, we expect him to steer Team Asia to victory against Team Europe at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM and break inside the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking by the end of 2014. (He is currently 52nd in the world)
His last victory on the Asian Tour was in 2010 so expect him to contend for his 14th Asian Tour title in 2014.
He will also be on the mission to win his second title since winning the 2012 ISPS Handa Wales Open on European soil.
Ends.