With lucrative events such as World Golf Championships (WGC) and Majors looming, the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) becomes all important. Here we follow the Asian Tour players that are making a charge up the rankings and their quest to play their way into these events via the OWGR.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, currently ranked number 42 on the OWGR, is already eligible for all the above events.
By Olle Nordberg, Former Asian Tour and European Tour professional.
Last week’s winner of the Bangabandhu Cup Open Golf in Bangladesh, Sadom Kaewkanjana took home 14 OWGR points and rose to number 287 from 628 the previous week. He started the year ranked number 1,350 and has gained over 1,000 spots in a just over three months, a very impressive start to his professional career.
Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand
Other Asian Tour players who we are following closely when it comes to qualifying for the upcoming Majors and WGC events via the OWGR:
Having another solid event and top-five finish in Dhaka last week by placing tied-fifth, Jazz moves up to another career high ranking once again and lands at number 70 this week. Continuing his ascent up the OWGR and looks to have solidified his chances for a special invitation to the US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in New York May 16-19.
The next important step on the OWGR for him will be breaking into the top-60 by either May 20 or June 10, which are the cut-off dates for exemptions into the US Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California June 13-16.
Justin Harding (RSA)
Harding played the Valero Texas Open last week in San Antonio, Texas, but missed the cut after rounds of 73 and75 and slides down one place on the list to number 49.
Playing in the Masters Tournament this week, he will have an opportunity to make big gains with a high finish in the star-studded field, thereby improving his chances for an exemption into the upcoming US Open.
Kurt Kitayama (USA)
Kitayama did not play last week and slips to number 107. His immediate challenge is breaking into the top-100 and a chance for a start in the US PGA Championship.
Depending on his playing schedule, there are only two events between now and the cut-off date of May 5 on the Asian Tour and European Tour where he can make up ground , Trophee Hassan II in Morocco and GS Caltex Maekyung Open/Volvo China Open (played same week) in Seoul/Shenzhen.