Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia has set himself high goals for the season as he gears up to tee off at the USD 500,000 Asian Tour Queen's Cup at the Santiburi Samui Country Club, also called the 'Beast of Samui'.
Chawrasia, who successfully defended his Hero Indian Open title by seven shots in March for his sixth Asian Tour victory, is second on the Merit list with USD 304,500 and he could take over the top spot from American David Lipsky in the rankings if he finishes no lower than tied second.
Apart from Chawrasia, there are 10 other Indians, including Shiv Kapur, who has been first and second in his last two Asian Tour starts.
Others are Jeev Milkha Singh, Chiragh Kumar, Rashid Khan, Shubhankar Sharma, Sujjan Singh, S Chikkarangappa, Rahil Gangjee and Arjun Prasad.
Chawrasia has enough experience of the Queen's Cup as he was Tied-sixth in 2015 and he was also tied eighth at Santiburi Samui in the 2006 Bangkok Airways Open. His lowest round here is 67 shot in 2015.
A fortnight ago, Chawrasia finished tied 30th at the Nordea Masters in Sweden two weeks ago.
Chawrasia admitted, "Obviously I'm thinking about the Order of Merit. I'm about USD 30,000 behind David Lipsky and I'm here to try and catch him. That's the main reason why I'm here. I've planned my schedule to play a few more Asian Tour events in the second half of the season.
"After Switzerland, I'm going to play in Korea, Japan and Malaysia. It's very important for me. If I can win the Order of Merit, like some other top Indians in the past. I want to give myself a chance as well to win it."
He said, "I've played here the past few years and it's a great place to be, with the beach and nice hotels. I like the golf course, so mentally I'm always refreshed."
"This course fits my style of play. However, it's very tricky and tough. The tee shot is going to be very important. It's very tight on every single hole."
Title-holder Scott Hend of Australia is aiming to become the first player to successfully defend the Queen's Cup.
The Thai challenge will include young stars Phachara Khongwatmai, Rattanon Wannasrichan and Jazz Janewattananond besides veterans Prayad Marksaeng and Thaworn Wiratchant.