Newly-installed Asian Tour Order of Merit leader David Lipsky of the United States has given the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters a huge boost by confirming his participation in the RM1.3 million (approximately US$410,000) tournament next week.
Lipsky, who sensationally won the Omega European Masters in Switzerland last week, will headline one of the strongest fields ever assembled at Seri Selangor Golf Club from September 18-21 with seven of the current top-10 players from the Asian Tour’s rankings teeing up.
No fewer than 35 Asian Tour winners including seven past Selangor Masters champions, led by title holder Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand, Filipino Angelo Que and 2012 winner and double Order of Merit champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, will also be amongst the top contenders for this year’s crown.
Lipsky was over the moon after winning in Switzerland, an event jointly sanctioned with the European Tour. He jumped to the top of the Asian Tour ranking with US$645,770 and hopes to build on his lead with another strong showing in Selangor.
“Winning the Order of Merit was one of my goals when I started out the year and to be in the position that I’m in right now, I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the season,” said Lipsky, who finished tied 57thin his lone appearance at Seri Selangor two years ago.
Indian star Anirban Lahiri, who finished second in Seri Selangor last year, will be back for another title crack as the second-ranked golfer on the Asian Tour bids to reduce Lipsky’s lead in the Merit race.
Countrymen Rahil Gangjee, who is fourth on the ranking, the seventh-ranked S.S.P. Chowrasia and young talent Rashid Khan, who is 10th on the Merit list, will make up a very strong Indian contingent at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters.
“I played really well in Selangor last year. It is one of those tricky courses where you need to be patient. It suits my game because it is a tight golf course. I narrowly missed on the play-off but hats off to Pariya who held on despite being under pressure,” said Lahiri.
“I’m going to try and go one better next week. I have a lot of positive memories heading back there so it will be an exciting week,” he added.
Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna, who won the Selangor Masters in 2007 before the event joined the Asian Tour Schedule, will be aiming to finally win a first Asian Tour title at a golf course which he is very familiar with. At eighth position in the ranking, Lascuna is in top form as he won an Asian Development Tour (ADT) tournament on home soil recently.
All eyes will also be on Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun, currently fifth on the Merit list, as he came close to winning the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters last season before suffering a late blemish to eventually finish third
“Golf is unpredictable and things like this happen,” said Baek, who double bogeyed 16 and bogeyed 17 in the final round. “I moved on from that quite fast and I was really happy for Pariya (who is his close friend). My win will come soon. I’ve been in contention a few times now and will need a bit of luck to get that first win.”
Past Selangor Masters champions Rick Kulacz, Malaysia’s Ben Leong and Joonas Granberg of Finland will be hoping to rediscover their winning form and become the first man to win the Selangor Masters twice
Other top names shooting for glory include Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij and Prom Meesawat, Australian Cameron Smith and PGA Tour champions Daniel Chopra of Sweden and India’s Arjun Atwal, who is a former Asian Tour number one.
The Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters joined the Asian Tour Schedule in 2008.