In-form Shiv Kapur will lead a huge Indian contingent of 13 Indians at the USD 300,000 Thailand Open, which gets underway on Thursday. Kapur recently ended his long title drought at the Yeangder Heritage little over a fortnight ago. Kapur, who is playing well, will also carry excellent memories of the Thai Country Club, which is where he won his maiden Asian Tour title way back in 2005. After that his next Asian Tour title came late last month in Taiwan. "It is always great to carry some good form into a fresh tournament," said Kapur, who will play in the afternoon wave with Gavin Green and Scott Hend, two other marquee names in the field. While two-time Hero Indian Open winner, SSP Chawrasia has skipped the event, the Indian challenge is very strong with Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shubhankar Sharma, Jeev Milkha Singh, S Chikkarangappa, Chiragh Kumar, Rahil Gangjee, Himmat Rai, Sujjan Singh, Shankar Das, Honey Baisoya, Khalin Joshi and Arjun Prasad also featuring in the field. Korean-American David Lipsky, who leads the Order of Merit ahead of Chawrasia, hopes to stretch his lead by putting on a strong showing at the US$300,000 event. A victory at the Thai Country Club this week will move Lipsky closer towards his goal of becoming only the fourth multiple Order of Merit winner on the Asian Tour. He was previously crowned the Order of Merit champion in 2014. Lipsky, who is making his debut appearance in the historic event, will be vying for honours alongside Thai stars Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Prayad Marksaeng, Thaworn Wiratchant and reigning Order of Merit winner Hend of Australia in the storied event. Hend will be looking to continue his affinity with Thailand after claiming three victories in the Kingdom, including two in 2016.
He is chasing for a 10th Asian Tour title this week. Singaporean Mardan Mamat marked another career milestone by playing in his 400th Asian Tour event at the Thailand Open. He is only the second player after Thaworn to achieve this feat.
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