India’s Rashid Khan is living out his dream as he makes his debut at the Omega European Masters which tees off on Thursday.
The lanky Indian earned his right to be part of the strong Asian Tour field at this week’s Swiss showpiece after he winning the SAIL-SBI Open on home soil in March.
With the prospect of taking on the European Tour players in this week’s co-sanctioned event, the 23-year-old is indeed relishing the moment.
“I’m really excited as this is my first time in Switzerland and playing the Omega European Masters. My life has really changed since I won the Sail Open which I didn’t expect to win. And now I’m playing in a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour,” said the jubilant Indian.
Khan is feeling at the top of the world as he stands proud among the game’s elite at the scenic Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club which is set amidst the picturesque Swiss Alps.
And having withstood several setbacks in his career, it will be his hunger and appetite for success that could eventually see the Indian create an impact this week.
“My career has not been smooth sailing but I was always determined to bounce back and do my best in my next tournament,” said Khan.
Khan swallowed the bitter pill on numerous occasions most notably when he missed out on a top-40 finish by two shots at the Asian Tour Qualifying School last year and was again left to rue further blows in his career when he was pipped to the title on several occasions last season.
Khan finally prevailed when he won this year and now hopes that breakthrough on the region’s premier Tour will be a barometer of more success.
“It’s a really exciting period for me and I’m going to play another four more tournaments after this week. I want to finish inside the top-five on the Order of Merit and that’s my goal for this season,” said Khan.
The Omega European Masters is the only event to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour on European soil since 2009 and marks the start of the second half of the Asian Tour 2014 season.
The event will see the return of many of the region’s best players including India’s Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, Filipino ace Angelo Que and Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun.
Charismatic Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, the European Tour’s oldest winner and holder of 21 titles including a win in Switzerland in 2010, will headline the European Tour’s challenge alongside Wales’ Jamie Donaldson, Italian Matteo Manassero and French star Victor Dubuisson.
ASIAN TOUR MEDIA ADVISORY
This week’s event: Omega European Masters.
Prize Money: €2.3 million, Approximately US$3 million (Winner’s purse: €383,330/Approximately US$502, 631)
Venue: Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, Switzerland.
Starts: From September 4, Thursday till September 7, Sunday.
Defending champion: Thomas Bjorn (Den)
Top Contenders: Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Siddikur Rahman (Ban), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp), Victor Dubuisson (Fra), Jamie Donaldson (Wal)
Press conference timings (local timings +2 GMT):
Wednesday, September 3
11am Jamie Donaldson (Wal)
2pm Thomas Björn (Den)
2.30pm Siddikur Rahman (Ban)
3pm Victor Dubuisson (Fra)
The Omega European Masters will launch the second half of the Asian Tour’s 2014 season.
India’s Anirban Lahiri, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit, has the opportunity to increase his lead with a good showing at the Crans Sur Sierre Golf Club. The Indian has not missed a single cut in six appearances on the Asian Tour, Lahiri also broke inside the top-100 on the Official World Golf Ranking where he enjoyed his career-best of 65th place in May.
India’s Rashid Khan will strive to create an impact in his debut appearance at the Omega European Masters.
Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman will be among the strong Asian Tour field which also includes Filipino ace Angelo Que, Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant and Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun.
The Omega European Masters is the only event to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour on European soil since 2009.