Asian Tour continues stretch of events
BY Bruce Young | Asian Tour | 2013 Mercuries Taiwan Masters | Preview | 02 Oct 2013
Tamsui, Chinese Taipei, October 2: Bangladesh’s Siddikur will face a stern test of his title credentials when he steps up to the tee at the US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters which begins at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club on Thursday.
With over 30 Tour champions and players representing 20 countries from the region’s premier Tour in the starting field, Siddikur knows a good result against the best will be the perfect tonic for a series of high profile events coming up.
“I lost in the play-off in 2010 and hopefully I can get the job done this year. My form was a little off a couple of weeks ago, but I’m getting back to my best. It will be a great confidence boost especially with the exciting run of events coming up,” said Siddikur.
The 28-year-old will become the first player from his country to compete in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf next month and he is ready to face the acid test at the richest Asian Tour event to be staged in Chinese Taipei this season.
With his last chance to break into the top-10 and secure his place in the lucrative CIMB Classic in Malaysia this week, Siddikur knows the stakes are getting higher as well.
Siddikur will have to look no further than Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant as one of his fiercest rivals this week as the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion is no stranger to success in Chinese Taipei.
Having won his record 16th Asian Tour title in Chinese Taipei three weeks ago, the 46-year-old veteran is riding on a wave of confidence.
Four of Thaworn’s 16 Tour victories including the 2004 Mercuries Taiwan Masters have come from Chinese Taipei soil and the 46-year-old believes he can continue his proud record.
“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Taipei. I’ve made so many good friends over here and the hospitality they’ve given me whenever I come over is fantastic,” said Thaworn.
“I’m back again and it’s definitely a good feeling to be able to compete in one of my favourite cities in the world. Obviously, with those good memories, it helps to puts me into a positive frame of mind,” said Thaworn.
Australians in the event are Scott Hend and Wade Ormsby both winner on the Asian Tour this season, Kieran Pratt, Scott Barr, Darren Beck, Marcus Both, Unho Park, Matthew Steiger, Jake Higginbottom, Ryan McCarthy, Sam Brazel, Adam Groom and David Lutterus.
Ormsby played well in Japan last week when he finished in 7th position at the Asia Pacific Panasonic Open and although Hend’s form has dropped off of late he did win in Thailand earlier in the year.
Several of the Australians have work to do if they are to retain their status on the Asian Tour or make it into the bigger events over the next few weeks.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters has long been the mainstay of the Asian Tour Schedule and will offer a lucrative winner’s prize purse of US$120,000.