| Jeev Milkha Singh with the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit trophy in Hong Kong on Sunday. (AFP)
Hong Kong: Jeev Milkha Singh on Sunday assured himself of the prestigious UBS Asian Tour Order of Merit title after he finished tied third in the Hong Kong Open to open up an unbeatable lead of $206,000 over nearest rival Prom Meesawat of Thailand.
Jeev, who has led the Asian Tour money list since his win in the Volvo China Open, sealed the Asian Tour Order of Merit, with the tied third place finish that fetched him $103,338. It took his total to $573,442 while second-placed Meesawat has $365,771.
There is just one more event remaining on the Asian Tour, the $700,000 Volvo Masters of Asia in Bangkok, where Jeev will try to become the first player ever to win both the Volvo Masters in Europe and Asia. He won the Volvo Masters of Europe last month.
Jyoti Randhawa (2002) and Arjun Atwal (2003) are the other Indians to have won the Asian Tour Order of Merit, which assures the winner a lot of extra starts on various world events, including the British Open and World Golf Championship events.
“It feels great to top the money list. After more than 10 years on the Asian Tour, I feel great to have finally accomplished this,” said Jeev.
“I certainly did have this (Order of Merit) in mind when I came here… though I missed the title, I am happy I managed to seal the merit list here with one more event to go,” said Jeev, who had finished third in 1995 and fifth in 1997.
For four seasons — from 2000 to 2003 — he played mostly in Japan and Europe and did not play enough events in Asia.
The achievement ensures Jeev a place in the British Open next year and also gets him into a couple of WGC events.
“My next goal is to get into the top-50 of world rankings and hopefully into the Masters,” added Jeev, who has moved into fifth place in career earnings on the Asian Tour with $1,268,385. (PTI)