Jaidee chasing compensation victory
BY Bruce Young | Asian Tour | 2013 Avantha Indian Masters | Preview | 12 Mar 2013
The European Tour and the Asian Tour meet in New Delhi this week where they will play the Avantha Indian Masters at the Greg Norman designed Jaypee Greens Golf Club in Greater Noida.
The event is being played for the fifth occasion as a European Tour event with South African Jbe Kruger the defending Champion having won his first European Tour event with a two shot victory over Germany’s Marcel Siem and Spain’s Jorge Campillo.
Kruger has been solid if unspectacular in recent weeks but could lift in an event which means so much too him despite it being at another venue.
The event has provided several players with their first European Tour victory including Australia’s Andrew Dodt who won in 2010 and India’s SSP Chowrasia who won in 2009 and again in 2011.
This year the field is headed in terms of world ranking by Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee who is showing his loyalty to the Asian Tour rather than playing his own national open this week which is being played under the OneAsia umbrella. Disappointing for the Thai fans who have come to expect so much from Thongchai but he clearly has his reasons and his allegiances
Jaidee was beaten in the first round of the Accenture but no disgrace in that after what had been a couple of very impressive efforts in the Middle East. Jaidee struggled over the weekend in this event last year after a good start although this is a new venue which could make all the difference.
Alvaro Quiros is certainly not the player he was twelve months ago having missed a lot of golf through a wrist injury. The last time the Spaniard played an event he finished 6th at the Dunlop Phoenix but for much of 2012 he was a shadow of his former self despite winning in Dubai early in the season. If he is anywhere near his best he stands a chance but it might be a bit unrealistic at this stage to expect him to contend.
Bhullar Gaganjeet is one of Asia’s best players now and a win at home at this level would be fitting for the 24 year old.
25 year old Bangalore golfer Anirban Lahiri is another local golfer expected to do well. Lahirir successfully defended his Sail Open title last week and might well continue that form into this week’s event.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat is another to be missing his national open in Thailand this week but his loyalties too are with the Asian Tour and given his form late in 2012 and in his only event to date in 2013 (3rd in Myanmar) then his chances appear good to upset.
Jeev Miklha Singh’s most recent form appears to inconsistent for him to be a realistic chance having missed three of his last four cuts. A 10th place finish in Dubai was perhaps a better indication of the quality of player he is but he is too risky to bet on this week I believe.
Ricardo Santos has recorded four top ten finishes in his last five starts and although he has seldom played in Asia the improving Portugese could well feature on Sunday.
Australians in the field are Dodt, Scott Hend, Kieran Pratt, Brett Rumford, Darren Beck, David Gleeson, Scott Barr, Wade Ormsby, Marcus Both, Uno Park and Kunal Bhasin
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