Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia have qualified for the $8.5 million World Golf Championship (WGC)-HSBC Champions to be held next week at Shanghai’s Sheshan International Golf Club, the Asian Tour announced on Monday. (Click here for latest Golf stories)
While Lahiri, alongwith Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat also qualified for the HSBC Champions by virtue of being in the top-50 of the world rankings, Chawrasia, Australian duo Scott Hend and Andrew Dodt and Canadian Richard T. Lee made it as the leading four (not otherwise exempt) players from the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit list.
It meant seven members will fly the Asian Tour flag in China next week at Asia’s lone WGC event.
Chawrasia, fourth on the Order of Merit with $283,958.75 as earnings, was delighted to qualify for his third HSBC Champions appearance.
“Anytime you can get into the HSBC Champions, it means you’ve had a good year on the Asian Tour. There’s going to be a great field in China as all the top players are there. So you’ve got to be on top of your game which is always the test. The course at Sheshan is long and you’ve got to negotiate your way around it well,” 37-year-old Chawrasia said in an Asian Tour release.
Lee, who is sixth on the Order of Merit, endured a nervous wait as he wasn’t sure he would earn his first WGC appearance after missing the halfway cut in Hong Kong last week.
“I’m lucky that two players (Lahiri and ThongchaI) in front of me were in the world’s top-50. I found out about this in Hong Kong and pretty much told myself to just make the cut but I didn’t. I guess I was lucky to still take that position,” said Lee, who will turn 25 on Thursday.