Oct 18, 2017: 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 has 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.
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.
Entry to the 2017 Macao Open is free. For more information, please visit www.themacaoopen.com.
Did you know?
- Ajeetesh won his maiden Asian Tour title at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Chinese Taipei, just a day before turning 29. He followed up that victory with another play-off win at the Taiheiyo Club Challenge Tournament on the Japan Challenge Tour.
- Prior to his breakthrough in Chinese Taipei, Ajeetesh had won his third title on his domestic circuit and finished third at the TAKE Solutions Masters on home soil in August. He sits in 27th place on the current money list.
- Ajeetesh turned professional in 2008. He is playing in his third attempt at the Macao Open this week. He last played the event in 2012 and 2013 where he made the halfway cuts in both attempts.
- Hend had won the Macao Open in 2013 and 2015. Hend and China’s Zhang Lian-wei are the only two players to have won the prestigious tournament twice since its inauguration in 1998.
- Hend is now 54-under-par at the Macau Golf and Country Club in the last four years.
- Hend trails Order of Merit leader Gavin Green by about US$112,000 in third place.
- Poom is making his fourth straight appearance at the Macao Open. He missed the cuts in 2014 and 2015 but enjoyed a tied-13th place finish in 2016.
- Poom’s breakthrough came at the Indonesian Masters some 12 months ago. He secured his second win at the TAKE Solutions Masters in India and has secured two other top-five results so far this season. He sits in seventh place on the current Order of Merit and he is the highest ranked Thai player in the field this week.