SUBCONTINENT DUO PLAN TITLE RAID AT OMEGA EUROPEAN MASTERS
Kuala Lumpur: S.S.P. Chowrasia of India and Siddikur of Bangladesh, the top two on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, will gear up for a title assault at the Omega European Masters next month.
Chowrasia leads the Order of Merit with earnings of US$410,077 and will be aiming of extending his lead at the Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club from September 1 to 4.
Siddikur, whose career has peaked steadily since his victory at the 2010 Brunei Open, will be determined to shine among the elite field which include world number two Lee Westwood of England and newly crowned Major champions Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland.
Noh Seung-yul of Korea, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, decorated Thai star Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and the in-form Jbe Kruger of South Africa, will also feature in the €2,000,000 (approximately US$2,600,000) Asian Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned event.
Chowrasia, a son of a greenskeeper, enjoyed a change of fate when he won his first Asian Tour victory in 2008 on home soil. He went on to dramatically clinch his second win at the Avantha Masters in India in February to put himself in the running of winning the elusive Order of Merit crown which was won previously by countrymen Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh.
He has yet to produce the same spark which won him his second Asian Tour title but is confident of turning the corner at the Crans-Sur-Sierre. “I had a problem with my swing after my 2008 win and that was the reason for my title drought. I worked on it with my coach Pritam Saikia and sorted out all the problems.
This finally got my confidence going,” said Chowrasia, nicknamed “Chip-putt-sia” for his shot-game prowess. He believes the experience he has gained of playing in Europe will spur him on to more success.
“I have a little more experience in Europe now and that is important because I know the golf courses and the cultures better,” added the slightly built Indian. From playing with a makeshift seven iron stuck on a metal rod, Siddikur is now plying his trade with much success on the Asian Tour.
He has five top-10 finishes to his name since his victory in Brunei last season and has been one of the most consistent golfers where he has yet to miss a cut since April and currently leads the Asian Tour Birdie category with 127 birdies.
He was due to represent his country in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Asian Qualifying last week but had to withdraw from the qualifying as his father was ill. But with his father now on the road to recovery, Siddikur will be eyeing for a solid result at the Omega European Masters.
Photo - Asian Tour