Photo from Asian Tour
DODT TO STAR IN AIR BAGAN MYANMAR OPEN
Australian rising star Andrew Dodt will spearhead a strong international line-up to compete in the Air Bagan Myanmar Open presented by IBTC next month.
Dodt, who currently leads the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit after winning the Avantha Masters in India, will be aiming to widen his lead at the top of the rankings in the US$300,000 event which is making a welcome return onto the Schedule after a four-year hiatus.
The popular tournament sanctioned by the Asian Tour with the Myanmar Professional Golf Association (MPGA) and Myanmar Golf Association (MGA) will be played at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club from April 8 to 11, 2010.
He will be joined by a strong cast which includes compatriot Gavin Flint, winner of the Myanmar Masters which was the first Asian Development Tour event in January, big-hitting Scott Hend, Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing and Japan Tour winners Hideto Tanihara, Azuma Yano and Tetsuji Hiratsuka.
Since the start of the new season, Dodt has been in flying form where he finished second in events in Australia and New Zealand in January before claiming his maiden Asian Tour victory in India.
He currently sits on top of the Merit list with earnings of US$360,192 and while he is dreaming of holding on to his position until the end of the year, he is not taking his lead lightly.
“It is a long way to go and you can’t get too far ahead of yourself. You just have to take it week by week,” said Dodt, who was highly rated during his amateur days.
The Myanmar Open was last played in 2005 and like many other Asian Tour newcomers, Dodt is relishing the opportunity of competing in Myanmar, known as the Golden Land, for the first time.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting new people, playing on a new course and taking in all these new experience. This is what the Asian Tour is about,” said the 24-year-old.
In stark contrast, Flint will feel right at home with a quick return to the Pun Hlaing course as he triumphed in the Air Bagan Myanmar Masters earlier in the year.
“It will be good to return to the venue which you have won previously. It gives me some confidence and a little bit more advantage over the other golfers as I have played the course before. I’m looking forward to returning and hopefully I can win again,” said Flint, who is still searching for his maiden Asian Tour victory.
“Hopefully that win is a sign of things to come. I want to win on the Asian Tour, that’s my goal. This will be my fifth season so I think it’s time to step it up and go for that win,” added the Australian.
Local prospect Aung Win, who finished second behind Flint, will spearhead the Myanmar challenge alongside Asian Tour veteran Zaw Moe.
The Myanmar Open was inaugurated in 1996 and the list of champions includes illustrious names such as three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, countryman Boonchu Ruangkit, American Anthony Kang, South African James Kingston and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Keng-chi.