ZAW REGAINS THE ZIP IN HIS GAME ON ASIAN TOUR
Kuala Lumpur: It appears there is still plenty of golfing miles left in the career of Myanmar veteran Zaw Moe. The 44-year-old has enjoyed a month to savour on the Asian Tour with two top-10s which ended a lean three-year spell and moved him closer towards regaining a full card for the 2012 season.
The Singapore-based Moe extended his run of good form by finishing equal eighth at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Taipei on Sunday, which came two weeks after a fourth place outing at the Macau Open presented by Cityneon.
The solid run of form has lifted him from outside the top-100 to his current 52nd position and with the top-60 earning full playing rights, the man from Myanmar is bustling with renewed confidence. Zaw said one of the reasons for his resurgence has been his improved driving.
“I didn’t have much confidence in my driving in the past but it seems to be coming together very nicely for me in recent weeks,” said Zaw.
A former winner of the Singapore Open, Zaw failed to finish in the top-60 in the past three seasons. But he maintained his desire to compete abroad and also participated in the Asian Development Tour, the region’s secondary circuit, to keep his game sharp.
It seems that with age, Zaw has also learned to become more patient with himself. “I used to be very impatient and ended up with a bad score. Now I try to tell myself never to give up and don’t lose focus even after a bad shot.
I hope to make it into the top-30 or 40 on the Order of Merit at the end of the season so that I can play in most of the events on the Asian Tour next season.” Sunday’s winner Lu Wei-chih jumped from 81st place to 28th on the latest rankings, thanks to the champion’s cheque of US$47,550. More importantly, he knows the two years winner’s exemption will keep him in the biggest tournaments in Asia.
“This win will open more doors for me and I’m happy that I’ve managed to end my six-year title drought on the Asian Tour,” said Lu, who was victorious in the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2005.
“It was exceptionally satisfying that I can win again and I know this victory will give me added confidence,” said the 32-year-old. Filipino Mars Pucay was disappointed that he failed to end his Asian Tour winless run in Taipei as he settled for third place, which moved him up to 25th position on the Order of Merit. With the Tour heading to the Hero Indian Open which offers a prize pot of US$1.25 million this week, he is looking for another top finish to break into the top-10 and qualify for the US$6.1 million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia at the end of the month.
“I’ve got to look at the positives and I’m beginning to find my form. A third place finish is always nice and I would take it given how I’ve played all week. It’s nice to move further up the Order of Merit.
My goal is to play in the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic and I hope this will spur me to play better so that I can get the chance to play in Malaysia,” said Pucay. Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka leads the rankings with US$435,817, followed by India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia with US$410,635. South Africa’s Jbe Kruger is third with US$252,871.
The Hero Indian Open, which starts at the Delhi Golf Club on Thursday, will be the cut-off for the top-10 players to qualify for the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia, which is jointly sanctioned with the PGA Tour, and the top-six players for the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai next month.
ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT – TOP-20Pos. Player Winnings (US$)
1. Tetsuji HIRATSUKA (JPN) 435,817
2. S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND) 410,653
3. Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 252,871
4. SIDDIKUR (BAN) 238,246
5. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 175,220
6. Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 171,958
7. CHAN Yih-Shin (TPE) 152,376
8. Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 151,362
9. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 150,280
10. Shiv KAPUR (IND) 144,580
11. Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 138,297
12. Felipe AGUILAR (CHI) 136,837
13. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 124,700
14. Sujjan SINGH (IND) 110,394
15. MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 105,900
16. Daisuke MARUYAMA (JPN) 101,414
17. Joonas GRANBERG (FIN) 94,613
18. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 90,300
19. David GLEESON (AUS) 88,980
20. Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 78,424
Photo - Asian Tour
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