India’s Chiragh Kumar, winner of the Order of Merit on Indian PGTI Tour in 2011, is fighting to save his card on the Asian Tour as he gets ready for the $2 million Iskandar Johor Open, which tees off on Thursday.
The 28-year-old, lying 69th, needs a good finish in the year’s last event to ensure he has full playing rights in 2013.
Chiragh, runner-up at the Hero Indian open in 2011 and then in top-10 this year, hopes to overcome the pressure-packed situation by keeping things simple as he needs to move nine ranks up the Order of Merit.
“I have to play well to keep my Asian Tour card. I’m going to go out there and play my game. I can’t give myself extra pressure to perform well and keep my card. If I play well then I deserve to keep it. Otherwise, I’ll try again next year,” he said.
“Early on in the year when I wasn’t playing too well, I was putting a bit of pressure on myself to keep my card. I tried pushing myself to play well in the big events and that kind of got to me. I had some injuries early in the year which I couldn’t get fit enough to play. I feel a little better now and playing better,” said Chiragh.
Chiragh is part of the big group of Indians, who are teeing up at the last event of the 2012 season.
The challenge is led by 24-year-old Gaganjeet Bhullar, winner of two titles this year.
Other Indians are Shiv Kapur, Anirban Lahiri, Jyoti Randhawa, SSP Chowrasia, Himmat Rai, Digvijay Singh, Chiragh Kumar, Shankar Das and Ajeetesh Sandhu.
The field also has Daniel Chopra, who was sixth last week in Thailand Golf Championships, and he will be looking to reviving memories of his first pro win achieved in Johor back in 1993.
The event also sees the presence of Major champions like Ernie Els, Michael Campbell and John Daly, besides Sergio Garcia, a perennial favourite.