Kuala Lumpur, September 17: Korean teen titan Noh Seung-yul will resume his quest for the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown when he tees up at next week’s Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan. The 19-year-old will be refreshed in his chase for a slice of Asian golf history as he will arrive at the Rokko Kokusai Golf Club in Kobe on the back of a week’s holiday at home. Noh, winner of the Maybank Malaysian Open in March, leads the Merit list by over US$96,000 from Australia’s Marcus Fraser, who will also head to the Land of the Rising Sun for the ¥150 million (approximately US$1.7 million) event jointly sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour. A top field of Asian Tour stars will go head to head with their Japanese counterparts in this annual clash between the Tours which takes place from September 23-26.
This season’s winners – South Africa’s Peter Karmis, triumphant at last week’s inaugural Handa Singapore Classic, Filipino Angelo Que, Bangladeshi Siddikur, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg and Australia’s Andrew Dodt – will also feature in the Panasonic Open. Other top names who will compete in Japan include Thailand’s big-hitting Chapchai Nirat, who holds the world scoring record for 72 holes, Korea’s Bae Sang-moon, Hwang Inn-choon and Mo Joong-kyung, S.S.P. Chowrasia of India and Australians Scott Hend and Marcus Both. Noh is on course to become the youngest ever winner of the Order of Merit and his cause was helped considerably with a superb fourth place showing at the recent Omega European Masters in Switzerland, an event jointly sanctioned with the European Tour. “I’m going to try to win the Order of Merit but there are still a lot of tournaments to go, especially the big ones. I’m looking forward to play in Asia again,” said Noh.
Japan’s Daisuke Maruyama will defend the title he won in Kyoto last year.
Karmis became the newest Asian Tour winner when he claimed a wire-to-wire victory in Singapore last week. Rounds of 63s in the first two days set him on his way and the slightly built South African is looking forward to competing in the Panasonic Open as a tournament winner.
“Now that I’m sorted on the Asian Tour, I’m going to play as much as I can. There’re some really nice tournaments at the end of the year and it is great that I’m able to play in all of them! I will definitely be playing in all the Asian Tour events,” he said.