Himmat Rai to lead Indian challenge in Myanmar Open

Updated: 06 February 2013 16:15 IST

Japanese star Tetsuji Hiratsuka and defending champion Kieran Pratt will join a host of Asian Tour stars for the season-opening event.

Himmat Rai to lead Indian challenge in Myanmar Open

Himmat Rai will spearhead Indian challenge in the USD 300,000 Zaykabar Myanmar Open that starts later in February.


Japanese star Tetsuji Hiratsuka and defending champion Kieran Pratt will join a host of Asian Tour stars for the season-opening event.

Himmat, who is currently ranked 453rd in World Golf Rankings, won the the ISPS Handa Classic event in 2011. That win was the first triumph in the Asian Tour for the Indian golfer, who turned professional in 2007.

Himmat and Hiratsuka, a three-time Asian Tour winner, is ready to reclaim the Myanmar Open trophy which he won so convincingly in 2010. Hiratsuka, who is a three-time Asian Tour winner, is ready to reclaim the Myanmar Open trophy which he won so convincingly in 2010.

Mardan Mamat of Singapore, highly rated Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand will be joined by Japanese Masanori Kobayashi, who won his maiden Asian Tour title at the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open last year. The event tees off at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club from February 21 to 24.

After winning the Myanmar Open in 2010, Hiratsuka went on to enjoy two remarkable seasons on the Asian Tour where he won three other titles and finished a career high of second on the 2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit.

"I hurt my back last June and have been struggling with the pain. It slowly got better in the year and I'm looking forward to returning to Myanmar again," said Hiratsuka.

Taking a leaf from Hiratsuka's book, Kobayashi earned playing rights at the 2012 Qualifying School and enjoyed a highly successful rookie year on the Asian Tour where he finished fourth on the Order of Merit, courtesy of one victory and two other top-10s.

"Hiratsuka and (Daisuke) Maruyama have enjoyed success on the Asian Tour so I decided to follow in their footsteps. They love playing in different countries and they have improved tremendously in their games," said Kobayashi.



Topics : Golf
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