Chiba prefecture, Japan, May 8: India’s Rahil Gangjee is confident his year-long experience of playing in Japan will put him in good stead for the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup which starts on Thursday.
Gangjee clinched an emotional victory in Japan last April when he ended a 14-year title wait on the Asian Tour then.
Besides a two-year winners’ exemption on the Asian Tour, Gangjee also earned a two-year exemption on the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) where he has regular playing opportunities now.
While he has yet to savour the euphoria of winning again, the Indian knows he has to instill the same self-belief that saw him end his barren run last year.
Like Gangjee, Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva also had to wait long before he made his Asian Tour breakthrough in Chinese Taipei last year.
Da Silva, who started playing on Tour after coming through the Qualifying School in 2011, had a top-15 finish in China last week and is looking forward for another shot at glory at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup.
Australia’s Zach Murray Australian rookie Zach Murray, who claimed his Asian Tour breakthrough in New Zealand in March, is hoping to spring a surprise again and establish himself as another genuine contender when the tournament gets underway.
The towering Australian, who stands at 1.96cm, first served notice of his talent with his wire-to-wire victory in what was only his third start on the Asian Tour since coming through the Qualifying School last December.
Did you know?
- Rahil Gangjee ended his barren run on the Asian Tour that stretched over a decade when he won the Panasonic Open Golf Championship in Japan last April.
- Before that win, Gangjee’s last victory on the Asian Tour came in 2004 in China where he beat a top field that included Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes Phillip Price, Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo.
- Adilson Da Silva became the first Brazilian to win on the Asian Tour following his victory
- Da Silva enjoyed a career high in 2016 when he was given the honour of striking the first tee shot at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro when golf made a return into the programme after 112 years.
- Da Silva has won multiple times on the Sunshine Tour. He started playing extensively in Zimbabwe from between 1996 to 2003, winning more than 30 titles and five Zimbabwean Order of Merit crowns. Played in the British Open in 2000 and 2007.
- Zach Murray claimed his breakthrough on the Asian Tour with his win in New Zealand in March.
- That victory was achieved in what was only his third start on the Asian Tour since coming through the Qualifying School where he finished fourth last December.
- Murray was ranked as high as 19th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking before he turned professional last year.