Chowrasia feels he is near Asian Tour away title

Kuala Lumpur, April 29 (IANS) India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia believes he is getting closer to a first Asian Tour victory outside of his country after a strong showing at the Ballantine’s championship in South Korea last week.

The double Asian Tour winner finished strongly to come in tied 11th Sunday and moved up to 18th place on the latest Order of Merit. Chowrasia has won twice on home soil in the past five years but thinks he is finally headed in the right direction in his search for a third title.

“I’ve regained a lot of confidence especially with my results recently. I finished tied fifth at the Panasonic Open India and Sunday’s round really gave me back my self-belief,” said Chowrasia, who closed with a four-under-par 68.

“I’ve been working on my putting and it has been getting better day by day. I’m trying to get my first win outside of India and hopefully that win will come very soon based on my current form,” added the Indian, who needed only 26 putts on the last day.

Another man in good form is Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who stormed up the leaderboard with a closing 65 for a share of the sixth place. A cheque of $76,024 moved Thongchai into sixth position on the Order of Merit, which is still led by countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Thongchai heads to the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters at Royale Jakarta Golf Club this week where he will seek a 14th Asian Tour title.

“I think we are very confident right now,” said the three-time Asian Tour number one. “It’s just a case of getting the putting to work and my game will be better.”

“I’m enjoying my golf right now. I just have to think about my putting.”

Kiradech extended his lead at the top of the Merit list with another US$45,840 added to his season’s haul of $662,375 after finishing equal 11th in Korea.

Closest rival Gaganjeet Bhullar of India uncharacteristically missed the halfway cut while Australia’s Scott Hend finished joint 31st to take his season’s tally to $229,638. Hend will be hoping to narrow the gap in Indonesia this week.

China’s Liang Wen-chong, who settled for a share of 55th position in Korea, is fourth on the Order of Merit with US$185,383 while Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun is fifth.

The $750,000 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters, headlined by reigning Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and British Open champion Ernie Els, is a full-field Asian Tour event and will be starting Thursday.

The Asian Tour is celebrating its milestone 10th season as a players’ organisation in 2013.

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