Players from the region’s premier Tour will head to the majestic Swiss Alps for the prestigious Omega European Masters where history was made last year.
The Swiss showpiece is the only event on European soil to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour since 2009 and will once again be staged at the picturesque Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club from July 23 to 26, a week after The Open Championship.
David Lipsky of the United States inked his place in the record books when he became the first Asian Tour member to win the 2014 Omega European Masters by defeating England’s Graeme Storm at the first play-off hole.
That defining victory sparked a spell-binding six-month run from September till February where Asian Tour members have won a magnificent five tournaments co-sanctioned with the European Tour in succession, a feat which has never been achieved before in the history of the game.
Current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri of India, who finished tied-13th in 2014, will be among the hot favourites expected to do well at the Omega European Masters this year.
The Indian struck gold twice in February with landmark wins in Malaysia and India and broke into the world’s top-50 for the first time in his illustrious career.
Riding on his rich vein of form, Lahiri will be aiming for more consistency in his game while hoping for favourable conditions.
“Switzerland has been one of those course which I ran hot and cold. I had very good rounds and not so great rounds.
“We are going in a different time of the year, so it’s going to be interesting because it won’t be as cold and it’ll be a great opportunity for more Asian players to do well,” said Lahiri.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat is also expected to put up a strong challenge at the Omega European Masters where more than 20 Asian Tour champions representing over 10 countries will vie for the title.
The 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion’s last appearance at the Omega European Masters was in 2013 where he finished in tied-44th place.
Since then, the Thai has enjoyed a promising season with a win in Shenzhen, China and two top-10s in Thailand and Germany already.
“I’m enjoying my game a lot better this year with more consistency and accuracy in my driving and putting. I’m confident I’ll be able to do better this year. In golf, you need to find your rhythm and once you have that, it keeps getting better,” said the 25-year-old, a two-time Asian Tour winner.