The Contenders

Tue 19 Feb 2013

The Contenders

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February 19: The Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Alpine is the curtain raiser for the Asian Tour’s 10th season. As we prepare for another action packed season, asiantour.com picks the top contenders for this week’s US$300,000 event.
Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha)
The reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner is the man to look out for this week. He won three titles last season en route to becoming Asia’s number one golfer. Like previous seasons, Thaworn’s game plan will be simple – keep the birdies coming and minimize the mistakes. His tonic to success is evident as he has been crowned the Birdie Leader category winner eight times in the past nine seasons. He finished tied 11th in last year’s edition and is on a mission to secure an unprecedented 16th Asian Tour title.
Kieran Pratt (Aus)
Playing in his third Asian Tour season, Pratt will defend the title which he sensationally won after winning a three-way play-off last year. It was the lanky golfer’s first Asian Tour victory which came straight after securing an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School. The win provided the spark in his game and he went on to seal two other top-10s and eventually finished 37th on the Order of Merit.
Masanori Kobayashi (Jpn)
Kobayashi is among a strong Japanese cast in this week’s event. He won his first Asian Tour title in his rookie season last year followed by two other top-10s. Last year’s Zaykabar Myanmar Open was his first ever Asian Tour event and he is hoping to knockdown his second Asian Tour title in this week’s US$300,000 edition. Former Myanmar Open winner Tetsuji Hiratsuka and 10-time JGTO winner Yuta Ikeda are also in the field.
Prom Meesawat (Tha)
Prom’s quest for a second Asian Tour victory will continue into the 2013 season. He is tipped to do just that if he stays healthy and injury-free. He did not cap a good result in last year’s Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Alpine (finished tied 56th) but went on to claim five top-10 results and ended the season in sixth position on the Order of Merit.
Mardan Mamat (Sin)
Mardan has fond memories at the Myanmar Open. In 2004 he placed tied fourth and shared 13th place in the following year. Even on a different golf course, the Singaporean veteran managed a reasonable tied 33rd result in last year’s edition. He went on to win his third Asian Tour title in the following event and is on a mission for a fourth Asian Tour title this week.
Siddikur (Ban)
Siddikur will be on the hunt for a long-awaited second Asian Tour victory at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Alpine. He carded five top-10s last season but faded towards the end of the 2012 season. He will be keen for a fast start at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club.