Nicholas Fung, seen here at the Indonesian Open in November, has earned his Asian Tour Card with his 31st placing on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. The Top 60 in the Order earns full membership on the Tour. - AFP
KUALA LUMPUR: The 2013 season is not over yet but golfer Nicholas Fung already has his Asian Tour card safety tucked away.
The Malaysian No. 1 is now ranked 31st in the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
The top 60 finishers will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2014 season and Nicholas is relieved to have achieved his aim to feature on the premier tour in Asia.
Nicholas enjoyed a tied fifth finish at the Resorts World Manila Masters and a runner-up outing at the Indonesia Open in November.
“I still have two more events to go before the Asian Tour ends. It’s good to have earned my card on merit and not having to go through Qualifying School.
“That will give me more opportunities to play in bigger events and more time to work on my game. I had a good and satisfying time last year. I hope this year will be as productive as well.
“I am still not that consistent and I hope to use the time saved from not going to Qualifying School to practise more,” said the bespectacled Nicholas.
The Sabah-born Nicholas is also leading the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit.
Nicholas was the toast of the 2013 season when he won the PGM-UMW Templer Park Masters in June and enjoyed three second-place finishes and three other top 10s which propelled him to the top of the ADT Order of Merit.
Nicholas attributed his improvement to playing opportunities on the ADT Tour.
“The Asian Development Tour opened doors for us and it’s good for the players as the circuit gets bigger.
“I hope one of us can win on the Asian Tour soon,” said the 23-year-old, who is ranked 235th in the world.
On the Asian Tour, Nicholas will play in the two remaining events of the 2013 season – the King’s Cup Hua Hin in Thailand from Jan 16-19 and Iskandar Johor Open from Jan 23-26.
The ADT 2013 season will conclude with the Linc Group Jakarta Invitational next week, but Nicholas is skipping the event after having earned his card.