Prom Meesawat asserted his intentions to challenge for the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown after finishing third at the Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday.
The Thai star earned US$63,000 with the result to move within US$5,000 shy of second-ranked Anirban Lahiri of India in the Order of Merit race and is slightly over US$160,000 behind Merit leader David Lipsky of the United States with four Asian Tour events remaining in 2014.
The ‘Big Dolphin’ as he is known for his burly physique and because he hails from the coastal town of Hua Hin, has committed to play in the final four-week swing starting with this week’s US$500,000 King’s Cup staged at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club.
“I am trying to finish top two on the Order of Merit to get into the WGC-Cadillac Championship but with four tournaments to play, anything can still happen as I’m on good form,” said Prom.
It has been a memorable season for Prom so far as he ended an eight-year title drought at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Chinese Taipei in September. In addition to his win, he also secured three top-10s and has yet to miss the cut in 14 appearances.
Winning the Order of Merit would be the icing on the cake for the 30-year-old Prom, who hopes to be the fourth Thai to emerge as Asia’s number one. Thaworn Wiratchant, Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat have won the prestigious trophy for a combined total of six times.
“I think I still have a chance (to win the Order of Merit). I hope to have some good weekends ahead. I just have to be careful with playing too much though. I don’t want to over push myself. I just want to let it happen and just enjoy my golf and see what happens,” said Prom.
While Prom fights for top-spot, Danny Chia of Malaysia and India’s Chiragh Kumar will face an all-important battle to stay inside the top-60 on the final Order of Merit to earn a full Asian Tour card for the new 2015 season.
After overcoming a career-threatening back surgery just over a year ago, Chia currently sits in 49th position on the Order of Merit thanks largely to two top-10 results at the Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday and Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT two weeks ago.
“My condition is getting tough. I might be thinking of pulling out of the King’s Cup. Will have to think about it. I kind of feel an ache on my right shoulder. I have to listen to my body but I’m in the situation if I should pull out or not due to the Order of Merit scenario,” said Chia.
Kumar, who was part of the Indian team which won the silver medal in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, tied for ninth in Manila to move to 57th position on the Merit rankings. With four more events remaining on the Schedule, the Indian hopes to continue his good form.
“I could’ve played a little bit better (in Manila) to put myself in better position on the Merit rankings. A slightly higher finish would have allowed me to secure my 2015 card but well, I am obviously not disappointed with the way I played.
“Hopefully I can continue the good form into the King’s Cup. I think my game’s headed towards the right direction and I’m hoping for better results in the upcoming weeks,” said Kumar.
The Asian Tour heads to the US$500,000 King’s Cup in Thailand where the Asian Tour stars will continue their chase for honours at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos Player Earnings (US$)
1. David LIPSKY (USA) $682,610.
2. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $521,104
3. Prom MEESAWAT (THA) $516,512
4. Cameron SMITH (AUS) $427,476
5. Angelo QUE (PHI) $379,855
6. Scott HEND (AUS) $371,177
7. Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) $248,238
8. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) $237,685
9. Rashid KHAN (IND) $236,007
10. S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND) $217,392
11. Jason KNUTZON (USA) $209,121
12. Steve LEWTON (ENG) $205,514
13. Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) $205,427
14. Mardan MAMAT (SIN) $204,953
15. BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) $188,818
16. Rahil GANGJEE (IND) $179,440
17. Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) $178,882
18. Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) $170,946
19. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) $161,476
20. Lionel WEBER (FRA) $137,288
Source: Asian Tour