Australia's Marcus Fraser.
Marcus Fraser of Australia and Thai great Thaworn Wiratchant will face-off at the season-ending Iskandar Johor Open this week as the tussle for the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit title reaches its climax in Malaysia.
Thaworn is the man to beat as he sits atop the Merit list with earnings of US$677,606, which is slightly over US$25,000 ahead of Fraser.
The duo will have everything to play for as the Iskandar Johor Open offers a lucrative prize pot of US$2 million and a winner’s cheque of US$317,000.
“It’s a fairly close fight between Thaworn and myself but there’re still probably four or five guys out there who still have a chance of winning the Order of Merit. It’s going to be a pretty exciting week for sure,” said Fraser.
After enjoying four top-five finishes on the Asian Tour this season, Fraser is setting his sights on wrapping up a sensational season with a win at the Iskandar Johor Open.
“It’ll be a huge achievement if I become the first Australian to win the Order of Merit title. I love playing in Asia and I’ve got lots of good friends that play on the Asian Tour. It’s good fun coming up to these events and to be able to have the chance of possibly win the Order of Merit this week is something that I look forward to,” said the 34-year-old Australian.
Thaworn was disappointed to finish tied 36th at the just concluded US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship following a disappointing closing round 77.
“It is still an open race. It is going to be interesting. I struggled with my driver in the final round (in Thailand) so I hope it will work for me in Johor,” said Thaworn.
“Winning the Order of Merit again is definitely going to be a big achievement as it shows that age is not barrier to success,” added the Thai veteran.
Fraser is on a dual mission at the Iskandar Johor Open as he seeks to translate four top-five finishes into a victory. The Australian is also setting his sights on breaking into the top-50 in the world, which will earn him a spot in the 2013 Masters Tournament. He is currently ranked 59th.