India’s rising star Ajeetesh Sandhu will be aiming to continue his winning streak when he tees off for the first time in four years at the Macau Open on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Ajeetesh broke into the winner’s circle on the Asian Tour for the first time in Chinese Taipei a fortnight ago before going on to clinch another victory on the Japan Challenge Tour last week.
Ajeetesh’s double victories in two weeks have installed him as one of the title favourites at the US$500,000 full-field Asian Tour event held at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
He will be part of the strong 144-man field where no fewer than 39 Asian Tour winners, including five Order of Merit champions, will be in action at the Macao showpiece.
With his confidence soaring at an all-time high, Ajeetesh has also set sights on the 2018 EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM. A good showing this week will boost his Merit rankings and edge him closer to representing Team Asia, captained by his countryman Arjun Atwal.
Ajeetesh said, “The game is feeling pretty good as you can imagine. This is a course that I like. It’s narrow but I think it suits my game. I feel quite consistent so I am looking forward to the week. The past two weeks has been pretty amazing. I didn’t expect to win back to back on different Tours. It takes care of a lot of things for me. I can just plan my schedule now and play whatever I feel like.”
“The course used to play a lot harder but this week, it’s different. It’s quite soft and I haven’t played in this windy condition before. It takes a bit of time to get used to but I have got two rounds in so I think I am ready to go for tomorrow. I hope to play the best that I can this week. If I can do that, I should be up there on the leaderboard and contending for the title. That’s my target this week. I want to get off to a good start and play a few good rounds and then see how it goes,” he added.
Meanwhile, reigning Order of Merit champion Scott Hend of Australia will be bidding to become the first player to win the Macao Open three times when he gets his campaign underway alongside defending champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand and Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih on Thursday afternoon.
Thailand’s Poom Saksansin hopes to ride on his consistent form to better his result from last year where he finished in tied-13th position. The 24-year-old is enjoying his career-best season so far, having won his second Asian Tour title in August and claiming two other top-fives.
The four-day tournament is jointly organised by Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government (MSB) and the Golf Association of Macau. It is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG.
With inputs from agencies