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Golf Today > Asian Golf > Tour Schedules > 2009 Asian Tour > King's Cup > Preview


KING'S CUP RELATED STORIES






Event Preview - Last chance for Tour card hopefuls

Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul plans to go on an all-out attack at the King's Cup this week in a last ditch attempt to secure his Asian Tour card for next season.

Pariya, who is currently in 79th position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, needs nothing short of a top-three finish in the season's final event to break into the top-65 which is the cut-off mark for players to earn full playing rights.

The talented Thai gave his Tour card a lifeline following a tied 18th place finish at the Iskandar Johor Open and another tied sixth place finish in the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open two weeks ago.

Malaysia’s Shaaban Hussin, fresh from a second place finish in Cambodia, will also endure a nerve-jangling week as he is currently on the bubble in 65th place on the Order of Merit.

They will face an uphill battle as Asia’s top two stars Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, who has already secured the 2009 Order of Merit crown and Chinese stalwart Liang Wen-chong, second in the rankings, will headline the US$300,000 King's Cup, which is making its Asian Tour debut.

Other top names who will vie for the King's Cup at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club are Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant and Chapchai Nirat, Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing and Hero Honda Indian Open winner C. Muniyappa of India.

Pariya rued a cold putter earlier in the season but is optimistic of achieving his goal for a top-three finish at the par-72 course.

“I will be attacking a lot of pins this week and hopefully it can give me a better result. My putting wasn’t working for me in the beginning of the season but it is getting there. I'm not quite satisfied yet so hopefully all my practice will show up.

“It will be about the long game this week but the short game always plays a vital part in every tournament. My long game has always been up there so hopefully it will hold up,” said the 25-year-old.

Shaaban, playing in his best season on the Asian Tour, is in confident mood thanks to his recent form and remains upbeat of staying within the top-65.

“I’m starting to feel more comfortable playing on the Asian Tour. When I first turned professional six years ago, I was very nervous thinking about playing on the Asian Tour as it felt like a Major tournament. But now I am slowly getting the hang of it and I look forward to staying in the top-65 and keeping my full playing rights,” said Shaaban.

Asian Tour rookies Mark Purser of New Zealand and Matthew Griffin of Australia are also fighting to secure their spots in Asia as they lie in 60th and 64th position respectively.

Purser enjoyed a flying start to his season when he chalked a tied seventh place finish at the Asian Tour International in Thailand. He followed that up with another three top-10s but struggled to keep his momentum as he made one cut in his last five tournaments.

The Kiwi, whose father was a badminton doubles bronze medallist at the 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games, will look to his tied fourth place finish in an Australian event last week to spur him on.

“That’s probably the best I have played in a while so that definitely helps with the confidence coming into this week.

“I can’t control what the other guys do but as long as I can stick to my game plan it can give me the best possible chance to achieve my goal. If I can stay relax and not be too tense, I will be giving myself the chance to hit the ball well and get a good score,” said Purser.

Griffin struggled early in the season but moved a notch higher in the middle of the year where he claimed a tied third place finish at the Macau Open.

“My Tour card is in my hands, if I go out and play well this week I won’t have any worries. I just need to go out there and do my job. The first year on Tour is always the toughest because you never play the courses before but I’m feeling more comfortable and looking for a big finish to the year,” said the Australian.

December 1, 2009

 



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