Asia's Open qualifying played next week

BY Asian Tour | 22 Feb 2013

The Asian Tour stars will challenge for four coveted spots in The Open Championship in July at the International Final Qualifying (IFQ) – Asia in Thailand next week.

Some of the leading lights and rising stars from Asia will converge for the two-day qualifying at the majestic Amata Spring Golf and Country from February 28 to March 1.

Anirban Lahiri of India, who finished tied 31st in his Major debut last season, countryman Gaganjeet Bhullar, Prom Meesawat of Thailand, Lam Chih Bing of Singapore and Jonathan Moore of the United States, who both missed out on the final ticket in a play-off last year, will feature in the 78-man field.

Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang, who will be the youngest player in the field, will be bidding to earn his second Major appearance in 2013.

Fellow countryman Liang Wen-chong, the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner and Masanori Kobayashi of Japan will also vie for elusive tickets to the year’s third Major tournament played at Muirfield from July 14 to 21.

Lahiri, a two-time Asian Tour winner, won the IFQ – Asia last year to book his place among the game’s elite. He went on to enjoy a stellar debut which was highlighted by his hole-in-one in the third round.

Lahiri’s performance at the 2012 Open Championship also gave him a boost in his confidence as he went on to finish a career high of 11th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

“I won’t be intimidated anymore. If I can come here and hold my ground, I can hold it in any event and any field looking into the future. I’m so much richer from the experience and the confidence I’ve gained. I think I have also gained a lot of respect from the players and I can rate my game a bit higher,” said Lahiri.

Among the other players who will play in the IFQ-Asia include Scott Barr of Australia, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan and Thai duo Chapchai Nirat and Prayad Marksaeng.

Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant has already qualified for 2013 Open Championship courtesy of his Order of Merit victory last year.

Australians in the field are Scott Hend, Scott Barr, Darren Beck, Kunal Bhasin, Time Stewart and David Lutterus.

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