Golf

Published: Monday January 6, 2014 MYT 5:29:00 PM
Updated: Monday January 6, 2014 MYT 5:38:19 PM

Steel well placed to regain Asian Tour card

Malaysian Iain Steel will be hoping to do well in the Linc Group Jakarta Invitational starting Wednesday to improve on his third-placed ranking on the Asian Development Tour Oder of Merit and secure his Asian Tour Card for next season. - Filepic

Malaysian Iain Steel will be hoping to do well in the Linc Group Jakarta Invitational starting Wednesday to improve on his third-placed ranking on the Asian Development Tour Oder of Merit and secure his Asian Tour Card for next season. - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Iain Steel of Malaysia will be eyeing a third victory in the season-ending Linc Group Jakarta Invitational starting on Wednesday to boost his rankings on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit.

Steel, the first player to win back-to-back ADT tournaments in 2013, currently sits behind American James Bowen in third position on US$36,623 (RM121,914).

With fellow Malaysian Nicholas Fung having already earned his card through the Asian Tour Order of Merit, the next three highest ranked players on the ADT Merit list will be “promoted” to the Asian Tour.

“The goal for me to play on the ADT was always to try and regain my Asian Tour card.

“It is a great platform because we get to earn world ranking points as well.

“With the two wins last year, I am glad I managed to put myself in a good position to secure my Asian Tour card,” said the experienced Steel, who claimed victories in Taiwan and Malaysia in August last year.

Bowen also has his eyes set on a record third ADT title in a single season when he tees off at the inaugural tournament.

The 27-year-old, who claimed two ADT victories including a breakthrough win in Jakarta last year, is hoping to start the year with a good result at the Jababeka Golf and Country Club.

“I’ve got good memories here and it’s great to be back again. 2013 has been a great year for me.

“I hope to start off the year with a good result so I can end the season by being the first to win three events in one season on the ADT,” said Bowen.

He looks very likely to earn an Asian Tour card for 2014 as he sits comfortably in second position on the Order of Merit with earnings of US$38,444 (RM127,976).

“I am really looking forward to playing on the Asian Tour. Playing on the ADT definitely helped a lot in my game,” he added.

Other top ADT players who will be contending for honours include Japan’s Masaru Takahashi, Canadian Lindsay Renolds, England’s Grant Jackson and local talents Rory Hie, George Gandranata and Benny Kasiadi.

It will be a jostle for Renolds and Jackson on the Order of Merit as the former, ranked fourth, trails Steel by slightly over US$1,000 (RM3,329) while fifth-ranked Jackson needs a big week to add to his season’s haul of US$27,180 (RM90,479).

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