Jeev, Chawrasia lead strong Indian challenge at Manila

The trio is among the 13 Indians, who will tee up at the richest event in the history of Philippines golf at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

SSP Chawrasia has been making cuts and even twice finished inside T-20 but is not being able to maintain the consistency through the week.   -  Getty Images

India's latest winner on Asian Tour, Chiragh Kumar, EurAsia Cup captain Jeev Milkha Singh and the highest-ranked Indian in the field SSP Chawrasia lead a strong national challenge at the USD 1 million Resorts World Manila Masters starting tomorrow.

The trio is among the 13 Indians, who will tee up at the richest event in the history of Philippines golf at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

The field also includes S Chikka, who came close to his maiden Asian Tour triumph, before fading away in the final round at World Classic Championships at Laguna last week.

However, Jyoti Randhawa and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who have shown a resurgence in form after a lean period will be looking forward to the week as the Asian Tour moves through its lucrative final stretch for the season.

Chawrasia, ranked fourth in the Order of Merit, and having three Top-10s this year including a second to Anirban Lahiri at Hero Indian Open, Rashid Khan, Shiv Kapur and Khalin Joshi will also be looking out for a good result.

Chawrasia has been making cuts and even twice finished inside T-20 but is not being able to maintain the consistency through the week.

Chiragh has had a fine season with a win and a Tied-second in his last four starts and is 13th on the Order

of Merit, while Jeev looked like ending his lean run at Hong Kong Open, but faded away in the end,

Young Shubhankar, who was second to Chikka at the Take Solutions Masters on ADT Tour, Himmat Rai, Manav Jaini and Kapil Kumar are also in the field.

Singapore's veteran star Mardan Mamat returns to his “second home” ready to successfully defend a title for the first time in his career at the 1 million US Dollars Resorts World Manila Masters starting.

The 48-year-old Mardan has never repeated as champion throughout his illustrious Asian Tour career which includes five victories but a return to Manila has boosted his confidence.

Mardan will face an elite field which includes 12 players from the top-20 of the current Order of Merit. Top contenders include home hero Angelo Que, American left-hander Paul Peterson and Thailand's Prom Meesawat, who has finished second and third here in the past two years.

Mardan knows a successful defence at the Resorts World Manila Masters, will also help in his Olympic dream. Mardan is currently 59th on the men’s Olympic rankings, with the top-60 by next July qualifying for Rio de Janeiro.

Burly Prom, a two-time Asian Tour winner, feels he is due a victory at the Resorts World Manila Masters after losing in a play-off in the inaugural edition in 2013 and finishing third last season which he shot a course-record nine-under-par 63 in the third round.