25 Nov 2021 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Ormsby resumes Asian Tour Order of Merit pursuit
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
The lure of an Order of Merit crown has proven irresistible to Wade Ormsby as the South Australian leads a host of Aussies in rejoining the Asian Tour in Thailand this week.
The Blue Canyon Phuket Championship is the first Asian Tour event since the Bandar Malaysian Open concluded on March 7, 2020, this week’s field a mix of Asian-based players, European Tour regulars and many who have been starved of competition the past 18 months.
That includes many of the 12 Aussies teeing it up as they take part in a two-week Thailand swing that will help form the culmination of a season that will stretch into a third year by the time of its completion.
Ormsby enters the resumption No.1 on the moneylist courtesy of his Hong Kong Open triumph in January 2020 and says the opportunity to top the Order of Merit is one he couldn’t allow to pass by.
His tally of $US227,003 is $47,000 clear of American Trevor Simsby with fellow Aussie Brad Kennedy third with $173,527.
With the winner of this week’s $US1 million event to pocket $180,000, Ormsby knows the makeup of the Order of Merit can change very quickly.
“It’s nice to be in the position that I’m in but I’m still going to have play well,” Ormsby said.
“Even though I’m ahead it’s by no means a foregone conclusion, I’ve still got a lot of work to do.
“It’s something that would be great to have on the resume along with the long exemptions that go with it and the opportunities that could open for you.
“The chance to win an Order of Merit is something that doesn’t come along too often in people’s careers so that’s definitely my main motivation at this point.”
Exempt in Europe in 2022 due to finishing 83rd in the Race to Dubai standings, Ormsby is following closely the developments on the Asian Tour.
The Greg Norman-led LIV Golf Investments are backing a minimum of 10 tournaments on the Asian Tour each year for the next 10 years at a total capital injection of $US200 million.
With a young family the travel between Asia and Australia has appeal but Ormsby intends to take full advantage of the playing opportunities available on both tours.
“There’s a lot going on in world golf at the moment and it hasn’t really played out completely yet,” said Ormsby.
“The Asian Tour have got a fantastic partner going forward so that’s really exciting for the Tour and all the members involved and the European Tour has got a partnership with the PGA Tour so that’s only going to strengthen their position.
“I’m fortunate that I’ve got cards on both tours and good cards at that, so I’m just going to do what I’ve always done and play those two tours along with the Australian tour.
“It is always appealing to play a tour a bit closer to home but this is how we make our money so you want to play the tours with the biggest events and which present the ability to make the financial gain that you’re looking for.”
As Ormsby resumes his Order of Merit aspirations Stephanie Kyriacou puts hers on the line at the season finale of the Ladies European Tour, the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana in Spain.
Although Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul has already wrapped up the No.1 spot, there are two carrots dangling in front of Kyriacou.
Currently fourth in the Race to Costa Del Sol rankings, the 21-year-old can share in the bonus prize pool on offer by finishing top three while a top-five finish will secure her an exemption into the LPGA Tour Q-Series that begins next week.
West Australian Whitney Hillier is the only other Aussie in action in Spain and at 47th on the moneylist is all but guaranteed to be among the top 60 who retain their card for next year.
Round 1 tee times AEDT
Asian Tour Blue Canyon Phuket Championship Blue Canyon CC (Canyon Course), Phuket, Thailand 10.55am David Gleeson, Saud Al Sharif, Ratchapol Jantavara 11.05am Jake Higginbottom, Koh Deng Shan, Othman Almulla 11.15am Ben Campbell, Shergo Al Kurdi, Aadil Bedi 11.15am* Scott Hend, Jazz Janewattananond, Gavin Green 11.55am Ben Eccles, Charng-Tai Sudsom, Galven Green 12.05pm Will Heffernan, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam, Wolmer Murillo 12.25pm Cory Crawford, Dodge Kemmer, Newport Laparojkit 3.35pm Travis Smyth, Rory Hie, Sarit Suwannarut 3.45pm* Andrew Martin, Pawin Ingkhapradit, Viraj Madappa 3.55pm Wade Ormsby, John Catlin, Joohyung Kim 4.15pm Sam Brazel, Rattanon Wannasrichan, Janne Kaske 4.55pm* Josh Younger, Natipong Srithong, Woohyun Kim
Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Wade Ormsby TV schedule: Live 5pm-9pm Thursday, Friday; Live 4pm-8pm Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 503
Japan Golf Tour Casio World Open Kochi Kuroshio Country Club, Kochi 10.30am Dylan Perry, Yuki Furukawa, Dong-Kyu Jang 10.50am Anthony Quayle, Yuta Kinoshita, Tomohiro Kondo 11.50am David Bransdon, Ryuko Tokimatsu, Toshinori Muto
Defending champion: Kyung-Tae Kim (2019) |Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Dylan Perry
Ladies European Tour Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana Los Naranjos Golf Club, Marbella, Spain 8.41pm* Whitney Hillier, Tiia Koivisto, Agathe Sauzon 10.20pm Stephanie Kyriacou, Olivia Cowan, Marianne Skarpnord
Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Stephanie Kyriacou
* Starting from 10th tee
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