July 2018 | Asian Tour

Els on dual mission at Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways


Fiji, July 31: South Africa’s Ernie Els, a four-time Major champion and former world number one, is looking forward to memorable debut while taking the opportunity to access the potential of the international field at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways which gets underway on Thursday.

The Asian Tour honorary member will also have the company of his wife and his daughter at the picturesque Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course as he attempts to live up to his billing as one of the headline acts this week.

“I got my wife and my daughter here and my caddie Casey from the U.S and we got here early yesterday morning.  I’ve never been to Fiji and I wanted to have a little bit of holiday if it’s possible around the golf tournament, so it’s great to be here.

“I haven’t been the headline act for a while so it’s kind of a bit different for me than the last couple years. But my great friend Vijay (Singh) is here and hopefully we can play together at some point this week,” said Els.

Known for his smooth golf swing, ‘The Big Easy’ will also cast his eye on the performances of potential international team members, having been named as Captain of the International Team for next year’s Presidents Cup.

“I’m fortunate that I’m an honorary member of the Asian Tour and I play some events on the Asian Tour so I can keep my eye on some of the youngsters coming through.

“There’s a lot of young, young blood coming through from Asia and Australia and I’ve got to keep my eye on them, and playing in events like this allows me to see how their games are progressing,” said Els.

Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura, who emerged as the highest placed Asian Tour member at the recently concluded Open Championship in tied-39th place, will be among those looking to impress Els as he also makes his debut at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways, which being tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour European Tour and ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia again.

"My performance at The Open Championship has given me a lot of confidence and I hope to do well again especially in my first visit to Fiji," said the Japanese.

Malaysia’s Gavin Green, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, along with India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu and Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, who finished tied-second at the Fiji International last year are also expected to spearhead the Asian Tour challenge in Fiji, which has now establish itself as a globally-recognised golfing destination.

"There’s obviously a lot of good players this week but I am looking forward to it. This is my first Asian Tour event since I last played in Malaysia in February and it’s good to catch up with old friends and play well again," said Green.

Ends.


July 31: Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat speaks plainly these days when it comes to his goals in golf and it was no different ahead of this week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

“I want to get the job done and take away the trophy,” said the 29-year old.

Kiradech has plenty of reason to be super confident. This year, his career has continued to trend nicely with a couple of impressive top-five finishes at the WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Two other top-15s at the Memorial Tournament and U.S. Open have also helped the big-hitting Kiradech become the first Thai golfer to secure his PGA TOUR card for the 2018-19 season.

Throw in his triumph in Australia at a tri-sanctioned tournament by the Asian, European and Australian Tours in February, Kiradech certainly has reason to feel like he’s on top of the world but he knows only a win at the iconic Firestone Country Club this week can put the exclamation mark to his impressive 2018 campaign.

“When I go to tournaments, it’s about myself now, how I perform and try to play my best,” said Kiradech. “The first two times that I played at Firestone, I was not consistent with my ball control but now, I can move the ball around and can go for certain shots. It should be a better week.”

In two previous appearances, Kiradech, a former world junior amateur champion, finished T40 and 53rd in 2013 and 2016 respectively and broke par only twice in eight rounds. He remembers Firestone as a course which rewards straight-shooting and for its smallish greens.

“It’s a long and narrow golf course, a bit old-styled with mature trees lining the fairways. If you strike it well and hit lots of fairways, then you can have chances to make birdies,” said Kiradech, who is now ranked 31st in the world.

His only concern ahead of this week’s showpiece which will parade 29 of the top-30 players from the FedExCup standings is fatigue. Kiradech has played in eight tournaments over a span of nine weeks culminating with The Open Championship two weeks ago.

When he arrived home in Bangkok, he did not bother to unpack his golf clubs and hung out with friends and family.

“My game did not feel good (at The Open). I was a bit tired as I’ve been playing a lot of tournaments and it affected my game. I couldn’t keep my ball under the wind,” said Kiradech, who finished T75 at the year’s third major.

“I had several good days being at home. I was away for several months and have probably hit a million golf balls during that time, so I wasn’t going to unpack my golf clubs at all.”

The former Asian Tour No. 1 is keen to succeed Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama as champion of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational but knows he must keep to the old cliché of taking it one shot at a time.

“I’ve been hitting it good this year and the key is always to stay patient and to stick to the game plan. The good thing is I’m enjoying my golf. It’ll be a good week to play well,” said Kiradech.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, reigning FedExCup winner Justin Thomas, newly crowned Open winner Francesco Molinari and Matsuyama are amongst the stars assembled at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational which starts on Thursday.

ABOUT THE WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS-BRIDGESTONE INVITATIONAL

The Bridgestone Invitational is one of four World Golf Championships and annually attracts the world’s best golfers from across the globe including those from the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. The other World Golf Championships include the Dell Technologies Match Play (Austin, Texas), Mexico Championship (Mexico City, Mexico) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China). The Bridgestone Invitational annually donates approximately $1 million to charities throughout Northeast Ohio. Over the years, professional golf at Firestone Country Club has donated more than $26 million to worthy causes in Northeast Ohio, including the event’s signature charities Akron Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Since the inception of the World Golf Championships in 1999, the series has raised over $50 million for deserving charities.

ABOUT BRIDGESTONE

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

ABOUT BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS, INC.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.

 


Bengaluru, India, July 31: TAKE Solutions, a globally recognized domain expert offering end-to-end Life Sciences solutions, has been dedicated to the agenda of elevating Indian Golf for over 15 years. TAKE’s golf ethos has been by growing the sport from the grassroots, being committed to stay the course and exposing Indian talent to international opportunities.

The company has been supporting golf through sponsored tournaments on the domestic and feeder circuits, bringing India its first ADT tournament in 2014, and the TAKE Solutions Masters on the Asian Tour as well as sponsorship of deserving players.

TAKE’s ambassadors SSP Chawrasia, the six-time Asian Tour and four-time European Tour winner will be returning along with Khalin Joshi, whose second-place result made him India’s top finisher in last year’s event at his home. They will be joined by Chiragh Kumar, the 4-time Indian Tour winner and silver medalist as an Amateur at the 2006 Asian Games as well as being a Panasonic Asian Tour winner.

Srinivasan H R, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, TAKE Solutions said,” The first edition of TAKE Solutions Masters saw the biggest and brightest names in Asia deliver 4 thrilling rounds of high quality golf on the challenging Karnataka Golf Association course. We are happy to be back to KGA’s wonderful hospitality and electric environment with a 156-strong field of the region’s finest. It has been a pleasure to work with the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) to champion the upliftment of golf in the region.”

SSP Chawrasia said, ”It is a pleasure to return to TAKE Solutions Masters and play with seasoned golf players from across the region. Tournaments like these have enabled golf in India to rapidly rise in recent years. My best wishes to all the players competing in this season of the tournament.”

TAKE Solutions started supporting Golf in 2003 with running the Indian leg of the World Corporate Golf Challenge.  The company supported it for 10 years and in a very impactful way.  The Indian team finished as winners on two occasions and it finished in the top 5. From there, TAKE moved on to supporting professional golfers in three ways:

Creating opportunities for young Indian professionals – especially giving them opportunities to play with their international peers. Today the company runs two events on the Indian tour and one full field Asian tour, TAKE Solutions Masters, annually.

The company supports young deserving golfers in their quest to play internationally – SSP Chawrasia, Khalin Joshi and Chiragh Kumar are current golf ambassadors. Shubhankar Sharma and Chikkarangappa S have been recent TAKE ambassadors.  This enabled them to play on the international circuit.  All of them play on the Asian tour, while SSP Chawrasia plays in the European tour also.  They have brought several laurels to the country.

The company takes pride in recognising stellar performers, infrastructure and coaching in Golf, sponsors and runs the TAKE Solutions Golf Awards annually – the only event to celebrate golfers in India.

Ends.

About TAKE Solutions

TAKE Solutions delivers domain-intensive services in Life Sciences and Supply Chain Management.

In the fast-growing Life Sciences space, TAKE offers clients a unique combination of full-service Clinical, Regulatory and Safety services backed by unique technology expertise. Our range of services span from clinical trials to regulatory submissions to post-marketing safety, all backed by insights derived through proprietary industry networks forums. With a team of leading Life Sciences experts, best-in-class systems and processes, and bespoke, industry-specific technology and analytics, TAKE delivers successful outcomes for clients. Our global roster of clients includes large and small innovator biopharmaceutical companies as well as generics manufacturers.

In Supply Chain Management, TAKE focuses on high-margin niches in engineering services, and supply chain collaboration. Our IP-led approach enables its clients to automate supply chain processes, track, trace & control at item level, mandate supplier compliance, and streamline material & shipment movement, and thus optimize their processes.

With operations spread across North America, Europe, Asia, and South America, TAKE is a Public Company, listed in India on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange. Led by a team of industry stalwarts and domain experts, TAKE has been growing steadily with FY18 revenues touching INR 15,872 Mn, (USD 246 Mn). 


Driver: Titleist 917D3 9.5* (Shaft: Mitsubishi-Chemical Diamana W Series 60 X)

Fairway: Titleist 915FD 13.5* (Shaft: Mitsubishi-Chemical Diamana D+ 80 X)

Hb: Titleist 816H2 19* (Shaft: Oban Devotion 85 05)

Irons: Titleist 718 MB (4-9) (Shaft: Precision Project X 6.5)

Wedge 1: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 F-Grind 46*

Wedge 2: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 F-Grind 50*

Wedge 3: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 M-Grind 54*

Wedge 4: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 L-Grind 60*

Putter: PING Scottsdale Pickemup Long

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (2017)

Shoe: FootJoy

Cap: Titleist

Bag: Titleist

Glove: FootJoy


July 31: India’s rising star Shubhankar Sharma has two simple goals to achieve at this week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. 

The first is to gather enough courage and introduce himself to Tiger Woods and the second is to keep his PGA TOUR dream alive with a strong showing at the iconic Firestone Country Club.

The 22-year-old Sharma will make his debut on Thursday in the US$10 million showpiece headlined by title holder Hideki Matsuyama, World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, newly crowned Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari, 29 golfers from the top-30 of the FedExCup standings and 14-time major winner Woods, who will be playing in his first WGC event in four years.

“I’m really looking forward to the event as I’ve watched it on TV over the years,” said Sharma. “It’s a tough set up but it is a great tournament which has celebrated great champions. Tiger has won it so many times, and then guys like Adam (Scott), Hideki and other great players have won it too, so just to be a part of that is fantastic,” added the current leader of the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity standings.

Speaking of Woods, Sharma caused a few giggles when he tweeted the following message after the Open Championship: “Last word on one and the only @TigerWoods. I am yet to directly meet him. My nerves always get better of me, each time. Maybe, he will have to help me there:) A practise round will be ideal @WGC_Bridgestone, especially, looking at how it went for @F_Molinari 🙂 @TheOpen.”

“I think I’ll go say hi to him (Woods), but I’m a bit nervous,” said Sharma, who enjoyed a practice round with Molinari, Italy’s first major champion, at the Open in Carnoustie.

“He’s always with someone and I don’t want to disturb him but I’ll definitely make it point to say ‘hi’. He’s been a hero of mine growing up and it’ll be great to just meet him. I’ll make sure I don’t get too starry-eyed! Just introduce myself and have a normal conversation. I’m sure a lot of people will tell him stuff like ‘You’re my inspiration’ and I’m sure he’s tired of hearing all that. I’ll try to have a normal conversation and congratulate him as he’s been playing well.”

The young Indian has watched Woods’ famous “Shot in the Dark” during the final round at Firestone in 2000 on YouTube numerous times, saying: “It’s definitely a cool shot, one of the best shots he’s hit in his career for sure,” said Sharma, who will have compatriot Anirban Lahiri for company in this week’s elite field.

To attain his second goal, Sharma knows he must pull off some great shots of his own to keep his PGA TOUR dream alive at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and next week’s PGA Championship.

He impressed with a T9 at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March but has yet to replicate that success in seven other tournaments Stateside, with a T20 at the Fort Worth Invitational being his best.

“It definitely is still a goal to try and earn my PGA TOUR card this year but I have to play really well in the next two weeks. Playing on the PGA TOUR is my aim and I want to make it there,” he said.

“It’s been a breakout year where I’ve had the opportunity play in different tournaments against world-class fields. It’s a different feeling when you are playing with the best in the world. In Mexico, I played really well and I thought I played well on the last day but didn’t quite make the putts as I was tentative. I was happy with how I handled the occasion as I had a shot at winning a World Golf Championships event on my first try and that gave me a lot of confidence.

“I know I need to work hard to get onto a higher level. One thing for sure is I’m definitely much more comfortable playing amongst these players,” said Sharma.

ABOUT THE WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS-BRIDGESTONE INVITATIONAL

The Bridgestone Invitational is one of four World Golf Championships and annually attracts the world’s best golfers from across the globe including those from the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. The other World Golf Championships include the Dell Technologies Match Play (Austin, Texas), Mexico Championship (Mexico City, Mexico) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China). The Bridgestone Invitational annually donates approximately $1 million to charities throughout Northeast Ohio. Over the years, professional golf at Firestone Country Club has donated more than $26 million to worthy causes in Northeast Ohio, including the event’s signature charities Akron Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Since the inception of the World Golf Championships in 1999, the series has raised over $50 million for deserving charities.


Sentosa, Singapore, July 30: South African Justin Harding broke into the world’s top-100 for the first time in his career after claiming his second win in three weeks on the Asian Tour at the US$500,000 Royal Cup on Sunday.

The red-hot Harding climbed up 28 spots to a career-best 99th place on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) following his commanding six-shot victory, which marked the largest winning margin on the Asian Tour this season, at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

Harding, who won the Bank BRI Indonesia Open where he played on a sponsor’s invite three weeks ago, became the first player to win back-to-back titles on the region’s premier Tour since 2011 following his victory in Thailand. The 32-year-old South African is also the first player on Tour to win twice in his first two starts in Asia.

Playing in his first professional tournament in Thailand, Harding stamped his authority early at the Royal Cup with a pair of six-under-par 64s that gave him a three-shot lead going into the weekend rounds.

He dropped his first bogey of the week on the 54th hole for a third-round 71 but bounced back with a brilliant 67 to seal his victory with a winning total of 14-under-par 266.

“It was a surprise two weeks ago, but I have been playing nicely recently,” said Harding, who took home a winner’s prize purse of US$90,000 and received a total of 14 OWGR points following his Thai debut.

He added: “I’m enjoying this run right now. The courses out here in Asia allow me to play strategically and I’m benefitting from it. I don’t find that I am trying too hard and I’m just letting it come to me.”

Prior to his breakthrough in Indonesia, Harding has also enjoyed successful exploits on the Sunshine Tour, where he leads the Order of Merit following a hot streak of two wins and three top-10s in his last five starts. He had started the season in 712nd place on the OWGR.

With a second Asian Tour victory in the bag, Harding moved from 32nd to 13th place on the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings, led by India’s rising star Shubhankar Sharma.

Sharma extended his Merit lead after securing a commendable tied-51st place finish in his debut appearance at The 147th Open, where half the earnings were counted towards the Habitat for Humanity Standings. He sits atop the money list with a current haul of US$603,156.

This week, the Asian Tour heads to the holiday isle of Fiji for the Fiji International presented by Fiji Fairways. The AUD$1.25 million (approx. US$970,000) tournament is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia. 

Top-20 players on the Habitat for Humanity Standings

Pos  Player  Order of Merit  (US$)

1             Shubhankar SHARMA   (IND)                      $603,155.55

2             Matt WALLACE   (ENG)                                 $446,660.00

3             Kiradech APHIBARNRAT   (THA)                 $372,480.89

4             Sanghyun PARK   (KOR)                                $295,660.39

5             Rahil GANGJEE   (IND)                                   $290,425.53

6             Sihwan KIM   (USA)                                        $279,623.77

7             Minchel CHOI   (KOR)                                    $271,340.97

8             Paul PETERSON   (USA)                                 $241,148.57

9             Scott VINCENT   (ZIM)                                   $231,289.85

10          Gaganjeet BHULLAR   (IND)                         $203,466.05

11          Jazz JANEWATTANANOND   (THA)               $199,324.39

12          John CATLIN   (USA)                                      $195,547.91

13          Justin HARDING   (RSA)                                $180,000.00

14          Berry HENSON   (USA)                                  $159,358.66

15          Daniel NISBET   (AUS)                                   $151,883.64

16          Panuphol PITTAYARAT   (THA)                    $140,649.11

17          Prom MEESAWAT   (THA)                            $140,214.84

18          Khalin JOSHI   (IND)                                       $133,933.64

19          Shaun NORRIS   (RSA)                                   $130,943.24

20          Hideto TANIHARA   (JPN)                             $123,306.08

About 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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist and FootJoy (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.


St. Andews, Scotland, July 30: Thai legend Thaworn Wiratchant closed with a second straight three-under-par 69 to finish in tied-sixth position at The Senior Open presented by Rolex on Sunday.

The 51-year-old Thai, who holds an unprecedented 18 victories on the Asian Tour, fired four birdies against a bogey to end his campaign on nine-under-par 279 total, three shots behind winner Miguel Ángel JIMÉNEZ, at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Thaworn, a two-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, had held a share of the first-round lead after opening his campaign with a 65.

Prior to his tied-sixth finish at the Senior Major championship, Thaworn has won in his last two starts on the Staysure Tour at the MCB Tour Championship and the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters presented by Shurooq.

Fellow Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng closed with a 71 to finish in 10th place on his own while Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat settled for tied-48th on 292 following a 74.

Ends.


Sentosa, Singapore, July 30: Here’s five takeaways from the Royal Cup where South African Justin Harding sensationally claimed his second title in three weeks on the Asian Tour on Sunday. 

1. South African Justin Harding broke into the world’s top-100 for the first time in his career after grabbing 99th place on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) following his Royal Cup victory.

2. Ranked 712nd at the start of the season, Harding rose through the ranks following successful exploits on the Sunshine Tour, where he leads the current Order of Merit, thanks to two wins and three top-10s in his last five starts. He was ranked 156th prior to his Asian Tour breakthrough in Indonesia, where he played on a sponsor’s invite. 

3. The 32-year-old South African wrote his name into the Tour’s record books by becoming the first player to win back-to-back titles on the region’s premier Tour since 2011. He is also the first player on Tour to win twice in his first two starts in Asia.

4. The Royal Cup is the third Asian Tour event in Thailand this season. Harding is the first non-Thai player to win an Asian Tour event in Thailand this season.

5. Harding’s six-shot victory at the Royal Cup is the largest winning margin on the Asian Tour this season.

 


Pattaya, July 29: Justin Harding of South Africa cruised to a six-shot victory at the Royal Cup to become the first player since 2011 to win back-to-back titles on the Asian Tour on Sunday.

The in-form Harding fired a three-under-par 67 in the final round of the US$500,000 Asian Tour event. With a winning total of 14-under-par 266, Harding became the first player to win twice in his first two starts in Asia.

The 32-year-old, won the BANK BRI Indonesia Open two weeks ago, took home the winner’s purse of US$90,000 while earning his fourth title in a span of two months at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.

Defending champion Shiv Kapur of India battled to a 71 to share second place with Australia’s Jake McLeod (67), Kurt Kitayama (67) of the United States and Chapchai Nirat, who finished as the highest ranked local player following a 68.

The Royal Cup is held in honour of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, who celebrated his 66th birthday yesterday.

Did you know?

  • Justin Harding is the first player to win two straight titles in his first two appearances in Asia. He won the BANK BRI Indonesia Open two weeks ago as a sponsor’s invite and immediately took up membership on the Asian Tour.
  • His win at the Royal Cup marks his fourth victory in 2018, two of which were won on the Sunshine Tour. He also leads on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.
  • With this win, Harding moves to 13th place on the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings.
  • He also broke the Thais stranglehold in Asian Tour events held in the country. The last two Asian Tour events in Thailand were won by Panuphol Pittayarat and Jazz Janewattananond.
  • Harding mixed his card with seven birdies against two bogeys and one double bogey. His lead was never threatened on the last day.
  • After his win in Indonesia, Harding flew back to play in Kenya and finished in tied-18th place, before flying back to Asia to compete at the Royal Cup.
  • Harding found 10 greens and 10 fairways in his final round of 67. He amassed a total of 24 putts.
  • Shiv Kapur hit nine fairways and only missed four greens.
  • This is Kapur’s first top-10 finish on the Asian Tour for the season since winning the Royal Cup in 2017.
  • Kapur is currently 39th on the Habitat for Humanity standings. He finished 10th on the Order of Merit in 2017 following his win at the Royal Cup.
  • Kurt Kitayama came through Asian Tour Qualifying School this year to earn his Tour card for the season.
  • Kitayama had an incredible start to the season earning his first professional win at the PGM Darulaman Championship which was also a wire-to-wire win.
  • This would be his best finish on the Asian Tour since March where he finished tied-fourth at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.
  • This is Chapchai’s fourth top-10 result this year following a tied-third finish at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open a fortnight ago.
  • Jake McLeod enjoyed his best finish, tied-second, on the Asian Tour this week.

Player’s quotes:

Justin Harding (Rsa) – Fourth Round 67 (-3), Total 266 (-14)

It’s been a good little run, I can’t really put into words right now. Two weeks ago it was a surprise, but obviously been playing nicely, just tried to get three good rounds starting the week and put myself fin position and then get the job done. I played pretty solidly yesterday it was a strange round of golf. I made a couple more putts today which helped.

I had my eyes on the leaderboard the whole time and saw the guys catching up.  I feel like I have a little bit more control that way. I felt pretty good with my game the entire week and I wasn’t making too any mistakes. On hole 13 I hit a poor shot that made it a bit interesting but I held my composure and made a great birdie on 15 which was a tough hole.

Haven’t had a five-shot lead on the last hole before and I may have been a little too casual on my last tee shot but that’s why I got my nickname.

I’m enjoying this run right now. The courses out here in Asia allow me to play strategically and im benefitting so I don’t find that I am trying too hard and just letting it come to me.

Shiv Kapur (Ind) – Fourth Round 71 (+1), Total 272 (-8)

I’m disappointed obviously. Around the turn I played poorly and made a bad decision on the ninth hole in my second shot and then ended making double bogey and carried on the frustration to make bogey on the next hole.

So that’s when I lost the tournament and played myself out of it but I’m proud with the way I came back from that despite being completely out of sorts I managed to fight back and finish second.

Every time you’re defending a title you want to defend it well and I think I can be pretty proud of the way I came and played this week.

I haven’t been able to play with my injuries and I haven’t been able to play the kind of schedule I wanted to. I’m glad I had a week to get the rest I needed.

The idea is to take the momentum forward and kick on like how I did last season. So I am hoping this will spur me on and bring me more success in the second half.

Chapchai Nirat (Tha) – Fourth Round 68 (-2), Total 272 (-8)

Today I hit everything good, but the only mistake would be hole nine, I hit my three-wood into the bunker and had an uphill lie so I had to lay-up my second shot and just two-putt for double bogey.

I putted really bad this week I think I missed a lot of short putts.I think my game plan really worked this week. I didn’t think much at all and I was just hitting it and not thinking.

Two years ago, I didn’t feel good about playing golf but this year was a turnaround for me I feel more positive.I worked with my coach Lakchai and we have been working hard on my swing all year. Now I feel so confident over the ball and my game is starting to come together.

Jake McLeod (Aus) – Fourth Round 67 (-3), Total 272 (-8)

It has been a great week for me, sweated it out but I played pretty solidly this week. I never expected to so that well, had my eye on the leaderboard once or twice.

I knew I was never going to be close, Justin is just playing really well and has a five-shot lead so it’s been hard to catch that. Putting has been the best part for me this week but my ball striking has improved a lot too this week which helped on this course.

I’m from Townsville so I’m pretty used to the heat. I’m playing well right now and my goal was to try and secure an Asian Tour card but missed out at Qualifying School so I only have conditional status. So, this is my fourth event and I am heading to Fiji next week so I am hoping I can use that to get another good result there.

Kurt Kitayama (Usa) – Fourth Round 67 (-3) , Total 272 (-8)

Overall my week was pretty great, a top-10 finish is always nice and being under-par on the weekend finally is a huge step since I have had a bit of trouble doing well on the weekend for the past couple of tournaments.

I’ve been getting a lot of playing opportunities on the Asian Tour and I see myself improving each week which is a positive. I know its hard for the qualifying school guys to get starts so im taking advantage of the starts that I do get.

I did well in the weekend rounds in China before I came here. So, to finally get a good finish on the Asian Tour is great. My goal would just be to lock in my card for next season.

Scores after round 4 of the Royal Cup 2018 being played at the par 70, 6716 Yards Phoenix Gold GCC course (am – denotes amateur):

266 – Justin HARDING (RSA) 64-64-71-67.

272 – Jake MCLEOD (AUS) 70-64-71-67, Kurt KITAYAMA (USA) 68-70-67-67, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 68-69-67-68, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 66-68-67-71.

274 – Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 71-69-68-66, Atiruj WINAICHAROENCHAI (THA) 70-68-70-66, Dale BRANDT-RICHARDS (AUS) 70-70-66-68, Naoto NAKANISHI (JPN) 64-69-70-71.

275 – Johannes VEERMAN (USA) 71-68-72-64, John CATLIN (USA) 67-72-67-69, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 71-65-69-70, Jarin TODD (USA) 66-67-69-73.

276 – Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 72-70-67-67, Viraj MADAPPA (IND) 70-69-69-68, Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 72-69-66-69, Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 67-69-69-71, Travis SMYTH (AUS) 68-68-69-71, Josh YOUNGER (AUS) 65-69-70-72, LIU Yanwei (CHN) 68-66-70-72, Mark BROWN (NZL) 67-68-68-73.

Ends.

About 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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist and FootJoy (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.


St. Andrews, Scotland, July 29: Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant fired a three-under-par 69 to surge back into contention in the third round of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex on Saturday.

Compatriot Prayad Marksaeng carded his third consecutive 70 to share sixth place with him on a six-under-par 210 total.

Fiji’s Vijay Singh, an Honorary Member of the Asian Tour, is tied-18th following a disappointing 75 at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Thaworn, a former Asian Tour number one, marked his card with four birdies, one eagle on hole 10 and three bogeys, to move up 20 spots and three shots behind Miguel Ángel Jiménez who leads on a 207-total following a 72.

Meanwhile at the Porsche European Open in Germany, Australia’s Scott Hend fired a three-under-par 69 to take tied-sixth at the Green Eagle Golf Course.

Hend traded five birdies against two bogeys to share tied-sixth on 208 with Japan’s Hideto Tanihara (71) and Jeunghun Wang (72).

Ends.

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