Kyi Hla Han is just four rounds away from accomplishing the most important mission of his career. Entering this week's US$500,000 Omega PGA Championship at Shenzhen's Mission Hills Golf Club, Burma's Han sits comfortably atop the Asian PGA Davidoff Tour Order of Merit standings. Over the course of this year, Hong Kong-based Han has participated in 15 Asian PGA tournaments, winning the Volvo China Open in Shanghai in May and finishing runner-up on three occasions. Thanks to his consistent excellence, Han has accumulated earnings of $196,560 enabling him to go into the season-ending Omega PGA with a seemingly comfortable advantage of $57,145 at the summit. However, with $80,750 on offer to the winner at Mission Hills' World Cup Course, it is mathematically possible for American Gerry Norquist to overhaul Han and claim Order of Merit honours. 'I'm sure it's going to be a tense week,' acknowledged Han, who is aware that a host of enticing rewards await the Order of Merit winner. As well as earning a spot in next year's World Golf Championship, Asian PGA officials are also hopeful that their Order of Merit winner will be granted a direct exemption into the millennium British Open at St Andrews next July. 'It would be great to finish on top of the Order of Merit,' Han said. 'It would open a lot of doors with invitations to tournaments around the world.' Although Han could be forgiven if he allows his mind to wander to future possibilities, he knows that there will be no room for complacency this week . . . particularly with Norquist breathing down his neck. Indeed, Norquist, who has spent the most of 1999 performing on the PGA European Tour for which he qualified by virtue of his stunning success in February's Malaysian Open, will not be short on confidence. For not only is Norquist a former winner of the Omega PGA Championship, but he has also savoured the sweet taste of victory at Mission Hills. It was in 1996 that Norquist trumped his rivals with a dramatic final-hole birdie, snaring a slick downhill putt on the 18th green at Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club in Hong Kong to capture the Omega PGA Championship crown. His happy Mission Hills memories are even more recent having outfought his rivals 12 months ago to add the Volvo Asian Matchplay title to his collection of silverware. While the intriguing prospect of Han's head-to-head battle with Norquist is likely to dominate the headlines this week, there are plenty of other important issues to be resolved in the last Asian PGA event of the century. As well as deciding the Order of Merit champion for 1999, the Omega PGA Championship will deter mine which 60 players retain full playing rights for the 2000 season. With a minimum of $1,250 to anyone who survives the half-way cut, there's certain to be plenty of anxious players come Sunday. For the Davidoff Tour, the Omega PGA Championship is the climax to the fifth season of operation during which the circuit has continued to grow in stature - on and off the course. Among this year's highlights have been the 'home' victories of Arjun Atwal (Wills Indian Open) and Jyoti Randhawa (Hero Honda Masters) and Choi Kyung-ju (Kolon Korean Open), as well as the appearance of Tiger Woods in last month's Johnnie Walker Classic in Taiwan, an event that was sanctioned by the Asian PGA, European and Australian Tours. Along with Han, former weightlifter Choi has been the Asian PGA's outstanding personality throughout this year. In addition to his win at the Seoul Country Club in September, Choi won twice on the Japan Tour this year and also made the cut in the British Open at Carnoustie. To cap a remarkable year, Choi last month qualified for the 2000 US PGA Tour - the first Asian PGA product to do so. The Asian PGA will also be well represented in Europe next year with ex-Hong Kong amateur champion Scott Rowe winning his playing rights in Europe where he will perform alongside fellow Asian PGA members Norquist and Indian Jeev Milkha Singh.