Kuala Lumpur, September 16: Malaysia’s S. Sivachandran will aim to cement his position atop the Asian Development Tour’s Order of Merit with a victory at the Kariza Classic in Indonesia next week.
Sivachandran, who won his first Asian Development Tour victory in Malaysia in July, plans to maintain his impressive form at the Imperial Klub Golf in Jakarta from September 21 to 24 (Tuesday to Friday).
Better known as Siva amongst his peers, the slightly built Malaysian will face a stern challenge as Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Chia-jen and compatriot Akhmal Tarmizee, who are second and third respectively on the Order of Merit, will also compete in the US$60,000 Asian Development Tour tournament.
There is plenty at stake as the top three finishers on the Merit list at the conclusion of the season will earn their Asian Tour cards for next year.
Other hopefuls who will make their way to the inaugural tournament include local prospect Rory Hie of Indonesia, Brunei’s Faiz Damit, T.J. Kim of Korea, Singaporean Mitchell Slorach and Michael Tran of Vietnam.
Siva, renowned for his consistent iron game, is hoping to extend his lead at the summit in hope of securing an Asian Tour card.
“I’m definitely hoping to do well as it will be a big boost to my rankings. It is one of my goals this season to do well on the Asian Development Tour and finish in the top three. Finishing first will be the icing on the cake,” said the 31-year-old.
Since winning the Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational in Malaysia, Siva’s form has taken a dip but he is confident of bouncing straight back.
“My form is not good at the moment because I changed some equipment and it will take some time before I get used to it. Apart from that, my game is good,” said Siva.
Chinese Taipei’s Hsu, a former Taiwan Amateur Open champion, came close to winning his first Asian Development Tour title at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship on home soil last month but was defeated by compatriot Lin Wen-tang by one stroke.
He will be looking to make amends at the Kariza Classic, which is the first tournament in Indonesia to join the fledging Asian Development Tour.
“It is my dream to earn my Asian Tour card and after last month’s finish, it puts me in good position. It was disappointing to lose but those are the lessons you learn,” said the 29-year-old, whose grandfather, Chi-san was a multiple winner in Asia.
England’s Nick Redfern, who has played in five Asian Tour Qualifying School but never finished in the top-40, lauded the formation of the Asian Development Tour this season as it gives budding golfers an opportunity to play on the main Tour.
“The fast track way to earn my card is to play the Asian Development Tour and make it in the top three of the Order of Merit. This is a great alternative platform for players to earn their Asian Tour card,” said Redfern, who is tied 13th on the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit.
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Nationwide Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading three players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals.