Dubai-based Indian golfers Shiv Kapur and Jeev Milkha Singh are both in the field this week for the final Asian Tour event on the 2021 calendar, the $1 million Laguna Phuket Championship, which begins on Thursday.
This is the second event in the back-to-back Asian Tour Phuket Series — very similar to the Dubai events that culminated in last week’s dramatic European Tour Race to Dubai finale, the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates — and is being played over the 6,770-yard, par 70 layout at Laguna.
The Asian Tour takes a break over Christmas and returns to action with two more events to close out the Order of Merit — the Singapore International (January 14-17) and the Singapore Open (January 20-23).
Shiv, speaking about his targets this week, said: “This Laguna course is famous for its low scoring. There was an 11-under 59 in 2017 in an Asian Development Tour event by Suttijet Kooratanapisan, but with preferred lies that week it is not an official record. Kooratanapisan is playing this week.
“I was reasonably pleased with my performance last week where I finished in tied 31st, but hope to do better this week at Laguna Phuket.
“I hit the first shot when the course was redesigned by Paul Jensen and reopened in 2015 — there is a plaque on the first fairway to prove it. The key this week will be to keep the ball on the fairways and in play. We have had a lot of rain over the last few weeks so preferred lies are in operation.”
Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang, who claimed last week’s Blue Canyon Phuket Championship is again competing, along with a powerful line-up of the Tour’s best players including Order of Merit leader Wade Ormsby, 10-time Asian Tour winner Scott Hend, reigning Order of Merit champion Jazz Janewattananond, Korean teenager Joohyung, who was joint runner-up last week, and Malaysia No. 1 Gavin Green.
There are 144 players in this week’s field with Shiv teeing off at 11.50am and Jeev at 7.30am, both off tee one on Thursday morning.
Other players competing with Middle East interest for the second consecutive week are Saudi pro Othman Almulla, along with his amateur countrymen Faisal al Salhab, Saud Al Sherif, Abdulrahman Al Mansour. Shergo Al Kurdi of Jordan is also competing David Langley (England), Ryan Lumsden (Scotland) and Curtis Knipes (England have received invites through the MENA Tour.