2013 Asian Tour finally comes to end
BY Bruce Young | Asian Tour | 2014 Kings Cup | Preview | 14 Jan 2014
The 2013 Asian Tour finally comes to an end this week when the Kings Cup is played at the Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin in Thailand, the US$1,000,000 purse to finalise the money list for the season.
I suppose it is no different than the European or PGA Tours beginning their seasons late the previous year but hopefully from this point on the Asian Tour can start and finish their season in a calendar year and have their new season schedule or at least part of it available for all to see well before the New Year.
The player who has already locked up the top position on the 2013 money list, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, will not play this week, leaving favouritism to the likes of Australian Scott Hend, Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha), Johan Edfords (Swe), Juvic Pagunsan (Phi), Siddikur Rahman (Bang) Anirban Lahiri (Ind) and Arnond Vongvanij (Tha).
Aphibarnrat is now a member of the European Tour following his win at the Malaysian Open last year and will this week play the Abu Dhabi Championship instead.
Hend has already won three times on the 2013 schedule and is currently second on the money list with earnings of US$571,000 around half those of Aphibarnrat. He was only average in his last few events of 2013 but in the main he was playing against stronger fields than that he will face this week and so must be respected.
Bangaldesh’s, Siddikur Rhaman, currently 3rd on the money list, will also tee it up. With US$180,000 first prize, Siddikur and Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri are the only players who can challenge Hend for the number two position.
While the battle for some of the leading positions on the money list are a feature of the week so too is the fight for survival at the other end.
The leading 60 players at week’s end earn the right to play the 2014 Asian Tour while the others, if they are not exempt through other categories, will be forced to return to the Tour School in a few week’s time.
Players on the fringe include Andrew Dodt, Jake Higginbottom, Adam Groom, Darren Beck, Sam Brazel, Ryan McCarthy, David Lutterus and Marcus Both who are all positioned between 58th and 80th.