Kuala Lumpur: Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg is targeting a successful return to the SAIL Open later this month as he aims for a third Asian Tour victory in India, as well as a hat-trick of wins at the Delhi Golf Club.
The 2010 Asian Tour’s Rookie of the Year will be hoping that the winning memories at the fabled venue will carry him to a successful title defence in the US$300,000 event from March 22 to 25.
A strong cast of Asian Tour champions including local hero Jyoti Randhawa, Thai legend Thaworn Wiratchant, a 12-time winner in Asia, Australian Darren Beck and Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin will also feature in the fourth edition of the SAIL Open.
The Delhi Golf Club, known for its challenging layout and sprinkling of historical tombs and monuments on the golf course, was also conquered by the talented Swede in the Hero Honda Indian Open in December which helped him finish third on the Order of Merit.
“It feels just amazing. I feel so comfortable when I’m in India. I receive a lot of support from the fans and I really like it there,” said the 24-year-old.
Randhawa, a former Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, will be hoping that a return to Delhi Golf Club will spark a boost to his form after a lacklustre 2010 season.
The eight-time Asian Tour winner finished third in the SAIL Open 12 months ago and has won the Indian Open twice at the Delhi Golf Club, which will mark him out as one of the early title contenders.
Chinese Taipei’s Chan believes he has become a better player since winning the 2009 King’s Cup in Thailand. He secured three top-10s last year and was one of the most consistent players on the Asian Tour with only four missed cuts in 17 appearances.
“I played in many Asian Tour tournaments last season and I gained more experience. I’m able to handle the pressure now. That’s one reason why I performed so well last season,” said Chan, who claimed his best placing on the 2010 Order of Merit in 18th position.
South African Peter Karmis, who broke through last year with a victory at the Handa Singapore Classic, and Thailand’s Udorn Duangdecha, victorious at the King’s Cup on home soil, are the other top names who will be looking to dethrone Karlberg at the SAIL Open.
Photo - Asian Tour
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com