Chowrasia tops Asian Tour Order of Merit
Riding on the crest of his sensational Indian Masters triumph, SSP Chowrasia leapfrogged more than 200 rungs to be 161 in the latest Official World Golf Rankings, besides catapulting himself to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Chowrasia, who was ranked a lowly 388 last week, had a meteoric rise in the ladder which now has him at 161 after his yesterday's triumph at the Delhi Golf Club.
Jyoti Randhawa, however, remained the highest ranked Indian golfer at 85 despite his poor tied 22nd finish here.
Fellow European Tour regular Jeev Milkha Singh, who could not make the cut in the first European Tour event in the country, slipped to 93.
Among other Indians, veteran Gaurav Ghei, thanks to his tied sixth finish at the Delhi Golf Course, rose to 212, while Shiv Kapur was ranked 263rd.
Chowrasia's stunning victory also propelled him to the top of the 2008 Asian Tour's Order of Merit.
The 29-year-old's triumph over a top-class field, which included Asia's finest and the likes of Ernie Els and several of Europe's Ryder Cup stars, earned him a cool USD 416,660 cheque.
While it is still early days in the race to become Asia's number one, Chowrasia's lead of over USD 300,000 from compatriot Digvijay Singh looks certain to keep him in the merit mix come December. Incidentally, the Asian Tour Order of Merit top 10 features five Indians with Chowrasia (USD 416,660), Digvijay (USD 115,500) and Gaurav Ghei (USD 66,200) occupying the top three slots.
Orlando-based Arjun Atwal (34,500) ranks fifth, while Jyoti Randhawa (26,000) is seventh in the list.
Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han lauded Chowrasia's breakthrough victory, saying that it would boost the game in India.
"The Asian Tour couldn't have asked for a better champion to emerge in our first tournament of the 2008 season. Chowrasia will serve as a wonderful inspiration to Indian golf as he has proven that hard work and dedication can lead to great things and success," he said.
Chowrasia's peers also poured accolades after witnessing one of India's finest golfing moments.
"It is an incredible victory. I am even happier because I know him personally. I know how great a person he is. Humble, down to earth and great at heart. I think it is a victory for all of us who play golf in India," Shiv Kapur said.
Randhawa too doffed his hat at the Kolkata pro and said, "This shows that Indian golf is moving in the right direction. I am sure Chowrasia's win will make every Indian feel proud. It is time for the rest of the world to take notice of this great achievement."
Incidentally, the Indian Masters also proved a special moment for Gaurav Ghei, who finished tied sixth over the weekend.
In the process, Ghei also became the 17th player and fourth Indian to surpass USD one million in career earnings on the Asian Tour.
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- While they were busy putting in the framework to get the seventh edition up and going, they received a setback when two of the biggest manufacturers—Audi and BMW—announced their decision to pull out from the sport at the end of this season.