Rashid Khan, SSP Chowrasia Move Inside Top-10 of Asian Tour Order of Merit
Rashid Khan and SSP Chowrasia, placed eighth and ninth respectively, along with five-time Asian Tour winner Anirban Lahiri (second) are the three Indians who now feature prominently on the money list as the region's premier Tour heads into its exciting stretch of the season where the battle for the merit crown intensifies.
Indian golfers were on the rise in this week's Asian Tour Order of Merit list with young star Rashid Khan and veteran SSP Chowrasia moving inside the top-10 on the back of their impressive wins in Thailand and India respectively.
Khan and Chowrasia, placed eighth and ninth respectively, along with five-time Asian Tour winner Anirban Lahiri (second) are the three Indians who now feature prominently on the money list as the region's premier Tour heads into its exciting stretch of the season where the battle for the merit crown intensifies.
Like Lahiri's victory in Indonesia earlier in the year, Khan also won his first title outside India with a battling performance that saw him pip Thailand's Thanyakon Khrongpha and compatriot Jyoti Randhawa by one-shot at the Chiangmai Golf Classic over the weekend.
The 23-year-old, who has risen in the Order of Merit with earnings of USD 232,407, used to find success on the Asian Tour elusive having suffered the agony of missing out on his Tour card at Qualifying School for three consecutive years since 2011.
However, he took advantage of limited playing opportunities and finally earned his career breakthrough on home soil at the season-opening SAIL-SBI Open this year.
Khan would then follow that up by winning again in Chiangmai.
Khan, who missed the cut at the Alpine Golf Resort Chiangmai just 12 months ago, credited his second Asian Tour win to perseverance, hard work and exposure.
"This win is really special because it is my second win this year and first outside of India. It was a really good week. I'm learning every single day. I'm playing on different courses on the Asian Tour."
"I played on this golf course last year and missed the cut by one shot. I played more golf courses for the first time on the Asian Tour and I learnt a lot from there. That experience really helped," said Khan.
Chowrasia trails Khan by slightly over USD 15,000 in ninth place, thanks largely to his third Asian Tour win at the Panasonic Open India a fortnight ago.
It was his 'never-say-die' attitude that hauled the 36-year-old back into the winner's circle after a three-year absence.
"After the Avantha Masters win, I was working hard for another win to boost my confidence. It was almost three years. I take a lot of positives from this win."
Having lost his European Tour card as well, Chowrasia dug deep and found that much-needed self-belief to get him going again.
"Even though I lost my card on the European Tour, I was still high on confidence. I learnt various shots on the European Tour and it was a great experience to play against the top players. Whenever I lose something, I wait for something better to happen. I had the belief to win on the Asian Tour again," said Chowrasia.