New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Following his maiden win in the Indian Open last weekend, S.S.P. Chawrasia made a jump of 92 places to be 151st in the latest global golf rankings released on Monday.
The seasoned Kolkatan was 243rd after the True Thailand Classic but registered a two-shot victory to gain 92 places and $276,000. His current rank also matches his previous best world ranking.
Among other Indians, Anirban Lahiri moved up two places to be 50th after finishing joint runner-up at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC). Lahiri remains India’s top-ranked golfer.
Rashid Khan, tied sixth in Delhi, vaulted 44 places to be 299th, while S. Chikka gained a place to be 365th.
However, Jyoti Randhawa and Shubhankar Sharma moved down the rankings. Veteran Randhawa dropped nine places to be 451st, while Shubhankar moved down five places to be 453rd.
Shiv Kapur’s tied 10th finish here helped him jump 29 places to be 470th, while Himmat Rai dropped 11 places to be 486th.
Another veteran, Arjun Atwal moved up 27 places to be 497th after his tied 20th finish in the Indian Open.
The United States’ Jordan Spieth continued to top the rankings, while Australian Jason Day displaced second ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Meanwhile, the battle for coveted Asian Tour Order of Merit crown is shaping up following Chawrasia’s win. Chawrasia’s popular victory at the Delhi Golf Club surged him to fourth place, trailing Australian merit leader Marcus Fraser by slightly over $200,000 with seven events played on the Asian Tour so far.
The Indian credited his never-say-die attitude which played a pivotal role in sealing his return to the champions club after two years.
“Looking back, I feel that missing the cuts in the last three weeks made me hungrier for the Hero Indian Open,” said Chawrasia.
If the early performances on the Asian Tour is any indication of the exciting season ahead, fans can expect a keenly fought battle for the prestigious merit title which will go down to the wire come December.
Fraser may have taken the early pole position when he ended his six-year title drought by winning the Maybank Championship Malaysia.
However, the Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena, who is in second place on the Order of Merit, has also issued his own statement of intent with several worthy performances including tied fourth and second finishes at the SMBC Singapore Open and the Maybank Championship Malaysia respectively.
South Korea’s Soomin Lee has also made a blistering start to the season with three top-10s in his first four starts which played a huge role in taking him up to third place on the money list.
He came within a whisker of his maiden breakthrough in Malaysia but suffered a late meltdown which saw victory slip away from his grasp.
He also enjoyed a creditable tied 22nd place finish at the ISPS Handa Perth International, which was the first time since 2009 that the Asian Tour last sanctioned an event in Australia.
The Asian Tour will next head to the Land of the Rising Sun for the Panasonic Open Golf Championship.