Proven winners David Lipsky of the United States, India’s Anirban Lahiri and Daniel Chopra of Sweden will form an illustrious cast of champions at the BANK BRI Indonesia Open next week.
They will be joined by multiple Major champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland, title holder Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, in-form Mardan Mamat of Singapore and world 72-hole scoring record holder Chapchai Nirat of Thailand at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event.
More than 30 Asian Tour champions led by Order of Merit front runner Lipsky, Lahiri and Prom Meesawat of Thailand, ranked second and third on the Merit list respectively, will also lend their star credentials to the prestigious event staged at the Damai Indah Golf, PIK Course from December 4 to 7.
George Gandranata, Rory Hie, William Sjaichudin and Andik Mauludin will spearhead the local challenge with hopes of becoming the second Indonesian after Benny Kasiadi to lift the prestigious title.
The BANK BRI Indonesia Open will play an important part in the Order of Merit race as Korean American Lipsky leads the rankings by slightly over US$160,000 over Lahiri and Prom.
After winning the Omega European Masters, an event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour in September, Lipsky is aiming to tighten his grip on the Order of Merit crown by winning his third Asian Tour title at the BANK BRI Indonesia Open.
“I’m over that win (Omega European Masters) and I’m not in the process of trying to get better in my game. I’m settled down now and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year,” said Lipsky, who has committed to play in the remaining three Asian Tour events in 2014.
“I’m still in a good position on the Order of Merit and if I can play like I know I can play, I can take care of business,” he said.
As the Asian Tour season heads into the tail-end of the season, Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka, Scott Barr of Australia, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and Nicholas Fung of Malaysia, who finished tied second last year, will be jostling to secure their first win on the region’s premier Tour.
Perera was on the brink of becoming the first Sri Lankan champion on the Asian Tour before losing in a play-off to S.S.P. Chowrasia of India at the Panasonic Open India earlier in November.
Even though he missed out on an historic victory, Perera, who is the son to Nandasena, a famous name on the old Asian circuit during the 1980s and 1990s, is confident the win is around the corner.
“I’ve saved my Asian Tour card for next year and I don’t have to worry anymore! A win is very close for me now because I’m playing so well,” said Perera, ranked 35th on the Order of Merit.