Chowrasia back in top-20 of Asian Tour Order of Merit

Kuala Lumpur: Indian golfer SSP Chowrasia on Monday broke back into the top-20 of the Asian Tour Order of Merit, moving up to 18th after a strong showing at last week`s Ballantine`s Championship in Korea.

The double Asian Tour winner had finished tied 11th on Sunday, a performance which contributed significantly to his earnings and helped him zoom up from last week`s 52nd position in the Order of Merit.

Chowrasia has won twice on home soil in the past five years but thinks he is finally headed in the right direction in his search for a third title.

"I`ve regained a lot of confidence especially with my results recently. I finished tied fifth at the Panasonic Open India and today`s (Sunday) round really gave me back my self-belief," said Chowrasia, who closed with a four-under 68.

"I`ve been working on my putting and it has been getting better day by day. I`m trying to get my first win outside of India and hopefully that win will come very soon based on my current form," added the Indian, who needed only 26 putts on the last day.

Chowrasia is followed by the seasoned Jeev Milkha Singh in the list. Gaganjeet Bhullar remains the highest-placed Indian at second despite missing the cut last week.

Shiv Kapur is 10th, while Anirban Lahiri is 11th in the latest Order of Merit.

Another man in good form is Thailand`s Thongchai Jaidee, who stormed up the leaderboard with a closing 65 for a share of the sixth place. A cheque of USD 76,024 moved Thongchai into sixth position on the Order of Merit, which is still led by countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Thongchai heads to the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters at Royale Jakarta Golf Club this week where he will seek a 14th Asian Tour title.

"I think we are very confident right now," said the three-time Asian Tour number one. "It`s just a case of getting the putting to work and my game will be better."

Kiradech extended his lead at the top of the Merit list with another USD 45,840 added to his season`s haul of USD 662,375 after finishing equal 11th in Korea.

Australia`s Scott Hend finished joint 31st to take his season`s tally to USD 229,638. Hend will be hoping to narrow the gap in Indonesia this week.

China`s Liang Wen-chong, who settled for a share of 55th position in Korea, is fourth on the Order of Merit with USD 185,383 while Korea`s Baek Seuk-hyun is fifth.

The USD 750,000 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters, headlined by reigning Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and British Open champion Ernie Els, is a full-field Asian Tour event and will be starting on Thursday.

The Asian Tour is celebrating its milestone 10th season as a players` organisation in 2013.