Battle for Asian Tour Cards Reaches Climax at Yeangder ADT
The race for three Asian Tour cards for 2013 reaches its climax at the Yeangder ADT in Chinese Taipei as the top-seven players on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit headline the season-ending tournament which starts on Tuesday.
Filipino Jay Bayron, who currently leads the rankings with US$30,889, is in prime position to finish in the top-three on the Merit list but it is still an open race for the second and third positions. The top-three players are rewarded with Asian Tour cards at the end of every year.
Hsu Mong-nan of Chinese Taipei, who has three runner-up finishes on the ADT this season, is currently second with US$26,950 while Englishman Peter Richardson is third on US$25,121.
A mere US$3,000 separates fourth placed Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei from Richardson while Lindsay Renolds of Canada (US$18,658), Grant Jackson (US$16,987) of England and Ryan Bulloch (US$16,667) of Australia all have mathematical chances of finishing in the top three on the Order of Merit if they win this week.
The Yeangder ADT offers the highest prize fund of US$120,000 this year with the top prize of US$21,000 going to the winner.
Bayron has been the most successful player on the ADT to date, winning three events since 2011 and is in the running to become the first Filipino to win the ADT Order of Merit since its inauguration in 2010.
“It isn’t easy to finish in the top three of the Merit list but I know that it is even more stressful trying to earn your Asian Tour card in Qualifying School. I just need a good result at the Yeangder ADT to cement my position,” said the amiable Filipino.
Highly rated Hsieh, who won his first ADT title at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship in August, knows what is at stake as he takes aim at a second victory on home soil which will all but secure playing rights on the elite Asian Tour next year.
“I’m aiming to finish in the top-three to get my Asian Tour card. That’s my main goal. The ADT is very good. It is awesome because young players like me will get a chance to gain more experience,” said the 22-year-old.
“The win in Taipei will definitely give me more confidence,” added Hsieh, who earned the right to play on the ADT by competing in the Qualifying School in Thailand in January.
A host of ADT winners will make their way to the Yeangder ADT including Brian Locke of the United States, who won the PGM-MIDF-KLGCC Masters in Malaysia two weeks ago, highly rated Kenneth De Silva of Malaysia and Kao Shang-hung of Chinese Taipei.
Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei is also in the field alongside Lu Wen-teh and Chan Yih-shin, who have a combined total of 12 Asian Tour victories.
The ADT has grown from five events since its inauguration in 2010 and has expanded to a record of 13 events this year.
The ADT will also be afforded with Official World Golf Ranking status in 2013 which is a huge boost for the development of the game in Asia.