Masaru targets ADT Merit lead with strong showing at Damai Laut

Masaru Takahashi

Lumut, November 7: Japan’s Masaru Takahashi aims to retake the top spot in the Asian Development Tour’s Order of Merit with a good showing in the RM200,000 PGM EurAsia Perak Championship, which starts tomorrow at Damai Laut Golf & Country Club.

The 31-year-old Takahashi trails Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas by about US$1,000 on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) money list. With Pannakorn not teeing up this week, Takahashi has all to play for as he continues his chase to become the first Japanese to win the Order of Merit title on the Asian Tour’s secondary circuit.

“I want to be the Order of Merit winner and to do that, I need to finish inside top three here. Of course, if I win that will be even better,” said Takahashi, who has notched one win and seven top-10s in 10 starts this season.

Hole 15, Damai Laut

Nattawat Suvajanakorn of Thailand and American John Catlin, placed fourth and fifth respectively on the Merit rankings, are also in the field which is a mix of leading players from the ADT and the local PGM Tour.

Coming off the back of a third consecutive top-five finish in Pakistan last week, Catlin is eyeing another good result to tighten his grip on one of the five Asian Tour cards on offer for the 2018 season.

“It is an important week for me, only three more tournaments and I am ready and feeling good about my game. My goal at the beginning of the year was to get into the top-five and I worked my tail off to get here last week. I just want to finish strong here to solidify my position,” said the 26-year-old Caitlin.

With only three events left to play this season, players will have all to play for as they vie to finish inside top-five on the Order of Merit at the end of the season to secure their playing rights on the Asian Tour in 2018. All ADT events offer Official World Golf Ranking points to the top six players and ties based on a sliding scale.

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