Kuala Lumpur: He might have missed the cut at the Omega European Masters last week but SSP Chowrasia continued to lead the race to become the Asian Tour`s Order of Merit champion.
Chowrasia, winner of the season-opening Avantha Masters on home soil, has accumulated USD 410,077 thus far but his lead was trimmed by second-placed Siddikur of Bangladesh, who earned USD 33,526 for his tied 18th place finish at Crans Montana.
Siddikur cemented his position on the rankings with his season`s haul of USD 223,462, which is USD 186,615 behind the leader.
But with many more lucrative tournaments lined up on the Asian Tour until mid-December, the Bangladeshi is casting his eyes on the region`s most sought after prize.
Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee remained in third position where his USD 18,912 cheque for finishing equal 35th raised his season`s tally to USD 175,220. Thongchai is the only man to win three Order of Merit crowns in Asian Tour history.
At this stage, it is Siddikur who looks to have the best chance of overhauling Chowrasia.
"I`ve been improving and I feel I`ve accomplished the goal to narrow Chowrasia`s lead. That was the plan at the start of the week and I`ve done that. We still have many tournaments left on the Asian Tour and this sets me up pretty nicely," said Siddikur.
South Africa`s Jbe Kruger is fourth on the rankings with USD 156,484, followed by Chile`s Felipe Aguilar on USD 136,837.
The Asian Tour heads to Singapore this week for the second edition of the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic which starts at Orchid Country Club on Thursday. Peter Karmis of South Africa will be defending his title.