India’s SSP Chawrasia looking to end ‘great year’ on a high at Hong Kong Open
The 38-year-old is hoping to add to his two wins already this season at a Fanling course he feels suits his game
An in-form SSP Chawrasia of India is looking to build on the most successful season of his career at next week’s US$2 million Hong Kong Open.
Chawrasia has claimed multiple victories in a single year for the first time in his career, winning the Hero Indian Open and Resorts World Manila Masters.
“This is the first time I’ve won twice in a single year but winning three will definitely sound better,” said the 38-year-old.
“It has been a great year for me because I also played in the Olympics and World Cup of Golf.”
“Obviously winning the Hero Indian Open was the highlight for me because I didn’t have a European Tour card at that point.
“But the win helped me get a full card in Europe and in Asia and my confidence just started to go higher from there.”
He will be among a star-studded cast at the UBS Hong Kong Open where defending champion and Olympic Gold medallist Justin Rose of England, Masters winner Danny Willett and Ian Poulter will feature in the prestigious event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Gaganjeet Bhullar of India and Chan Shih-chan of Taiwan, who are also aiming for a third victory this season, will be among the Asian Tour stars in the elite field which includes Jeunghun Wang of Korea and Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines.
Chawrasia, a five-time Asian Tour winner, believes he can better his tied fifth result at the 2014 Hong Kong Open as the Fanling course suits his game.
“It is a good course and I really like it so I’m looking forward to a good week,” he said.
“It is very similar to my home course [Royal Calcutta Golf Club]. It is a tree-lined course and you need to know where to hit the ball.
“The course suits my game and I’ve been practising a lot on my short game. I just changed my grip. “Before it was very strong and when it comes down to the pressure moments, I will hit it to the left. “Now it is getting better and that’s why I won two tournaments.”
Ranked seventh on the order of merit, Chawrasia believes the UBS Hong Kong Open will be a great platform for the Asian Tour players to stamp their mark.
“It is a very old and well organised tournament,” he said.
“There’s a lot of crowd and the Asians have a good chance to win because the course is set up like how it normally is in Asian Tour events.
“Don’t get me wrong, it is a very strong field but after playing in so many big tournaments, we are used to playing alongside the big name players.”
Entry to the first two rounds of this year’s tournament on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December will be free of charge.
Hole an 18-foot putt and earn HK$180,000 as UBS Hong Kong Open brings interactive golf to the community
Following the success of the inaugural event last year, the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup will return on December 14 with local singer and artist, Alan Tam, as official ambassador.
HK$2.3 million was raised in 2015 for three local charities, making it the most successful fundraising initiative for the entire European Tour season.