Japan’s Shohei Hasegawa hopes to make a winning debut at the US$75,000 Louis Philippe Cup which starts on Tuesday.
Hasegawa, a former player in the Japan national team, is one of the standout performers on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) this season where he has won once in March.
Currently ranked third on the Order of Merit, the 25-year-old will have the opportunity to take over top spot on the Merit ranking with a win or a solid result at the Prestige Golfshire Club.
Hasegawa will face strong challenges against the local stars led by Rahil Gangjee, who won his second Asian Tour title in April, Khalin Joshi and two-time ADT champion Chikkarangappa S.
Josh Salah of the United States, who won his second ADT title last week, Mathiam Keyser of South Africa, Martin Dive of Australia and Janne Kaske of Finland, all ADT winners will also feature in the event.
Former ADT Order of Merit winner Casey O’Toole will also contend in the Louis Philippe Cup alongside former PGA Tour player Miguel Carballo of Argentina, who is playing in his first year in Asia.
Hasegawa is in prime position to secure one of the seven 2019 Asian Tour cards on offer but he is not taking his chances for granted as he aims to win the Order of Merit title.
“It will be my first time playing in India. I have never been there before and I don’t know what to expect. But I will just work on my game to prepare myself,” he said.
“My goal would be to win another tournament because I want to win the ADT Order of Merit but my form has been up and down since winning in March. I’ve been struggling with my ball striking but I hope to overcome the problem this week,” added Hasegawa.
O’Toole admits he has been struggling to rediscover his best form and hopes to turn the corner at the Louis Philippe Cup this week.
“I have been struggling with my game a bit. It’s not technical because I hit it well on the range but I’m not trusting myself. It has been a mental struggle mostly from trying too hard and working towards results rather than staying in the process,” said O’Toole.
The Louis Philippe Cup is the 11th leg on the ADT’s 2018 schedule. The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2019 season.