Philippine Open: Golfers battle to retain full Asian Tour cards

Tarlac (Philippines), Dec 17 (IANS) Golfers will battle to retain their full Asian Tour cards when the season-ending $300,000 Philippine Open makes a delayed start at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here on Friday.

At the end of the season, the top 60 golfers in the Order of Merit secure their cards. And Indian participants in the event, especially S. Chikka (72nd), Khalin Joshi (67th) and Shubhankar Sharma (76th) will look for good performances that will ensure they come inside the top 60. The trio are playing in the continent’s premier series for the first time.

Even though Himmat Rai (35th) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (48th) seem to be secure, they will further boost their positions.

Meanwhile, the event, which was scheduled to start on Thursday, has been reduced to 54 holes due to persistent rain caused by Typhoon Melor which hit central Philippines on Tuesday. The Luisita Golf and Country Club was closed in the last two days and most players will enter the first day without playing a practice round.

“It has become a three-day tournament and I have to become more aggressive because I need to keep my card. I think a top three (finish) will do it this week so there’s no point holding back. I have to go out there and go for it,” Shubhankar said in a release.

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