Tour enjoys winning streak in co-sanctioned events

Mon 16 Feb 2015

Tour enjoys winning streak in co-sanctioned events

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Kuala Lumpur, February 16: Four co-sanctioned events, four wins for Asian Tour members.
Australian Andrew Dodt’s triumph at the inaugural True Thailand Classic presented by Black Mountain on Sunday enabled the Asian Tour to match its best streak of four consecutive victories achieved from between 2008/09, highlighting once again the growing strength of the game in the region.
Reigning Asian Tour number one David Lipsky of the United States started the glorious run with a superb victory at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland last September, followed by Australian Scott Hend’s play-off success at the Hong Kong Open in October and then Indian Anirban Lahiri’s stylish triumph at the Maybank Malaysian Open a fortnight ago.
With the top-six places on the final leaderboard in Thailand occupied by Asian Tour members, there were certainly plenty of reasons to celebrate.
Dodt, whose second career victory lifted him into second place on the latest Asian Tour’s Order of Merit with US$354,330, believes the region’s official sanctioning body for the game has succeeded in establishing itself as a major tour in the world.
“I’ve no doubts that playing on the Asian Tour has helped me a lot in my career. I love Asia. I started my professional career in Asia and I always got a soft spot playing on the Asian Tour,” said the 29-year-old Dodt.
“I went to Qualifying School in 2007, got my card there and has been on the Tour ever since. It’s one of the best Tours to play on. It really is. The people are nice and friendly and it’s a good mix of golfers playing there.”
The early 2015 season run of co-sanctioned tournaments between the Asian Tour and European Tour extends to the US$1.5 million Hero Indian Open this week, which offers Asia’s best players the opportunity to hit an unprecedented high five of straight wins against their European counterparts since the co-sanction programme began in 1999.
A return to the sub-continent has proven to be a happy hunting ground for the Asian Tour stars, who have won four out of the last five co-sanctioned events staged previously in India.
Dodt will be one of the favourites as his maiden title was achieved in India five years ago. Other top players tipped to contend at the Delhi Golf Club include Lahiri, the current leader of the Order of Merit and a three-time winner on the Delhi course, Hend, Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia and Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, who will defend his title at the Hero Indian Open which was last played in 2013.
Dodt believes the standard of play in Asia has risen over the years that winning a co-sanctioned tournament would rank high up in a player’s career. After watching Thongchai Jaidee miss a birdie attempt to force a play-off, the Aussie was relieved to return into the winner’s enclosure.
“The field between the Asian Tour and European Tour is really strong and you’ve got to play really good golf,” said Dodt, who regained his European Tour card through Qualifying School last November.
“To be honest, losing my (European Tour) card two years ago was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I went home last year, spent 12 months at home, played the Asian Tour again, found myself again, found my game and to be in the winner’s circle again – it’s unbelievable.”
Asian Tour Order of Merit (Top-20
Pos Player Earnings (US$)
1. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $522,300
2. Andrew DODT (AUS) $354,330
3. Scott HEND (AUS) $218,710
4. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) $207,670
5. Richard T. LEE (CAN)  $184,233
6. Paul PETERSON (USA) $104,400
7. Wade ORMSBY (AUS) $100,400
8. Jason KNUTZON (USA)  $84,933
8. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) $84,933
10. Nathan HOLMAN (AUS) $74,000
11. Jeunghun WANG (KOR) $71,533
12. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) $66,700
13. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) $62,979
14. Shiv KAPUR (IND) $50,000
15. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA)  $46,360
16. Prom MEESAWAT (THA) $44,521
16. Marcus FRASER (AUS) $44,521
18. Danny CHIA (MAS) $41,350
19. Sam BRAZEL (AUS) $40,550
20. Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) $34,050
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), 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.