Digvijay eyes 'double' at Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open

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Hyogo (Japan), Sep 18 (IANS): India’s Digvijay Singh hopes that changes to his golf swing and a strict mid-season training regime will lead him to a unique Asian Tour ‘double’ at the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open starting Thursday.

Digvijay claimed a career breakthrough win at the Panasonic Open India in April to end a frustrating 12-year wait for a maiden Asian Tour title and he will be among the top contenders at the US $1.9 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

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Fellow Indians Anirban Lahiri, Jeev Milkha Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who won his third Asian Tour title in Taipei Monday, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, defending champion Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Thai ace Thongchai Jaidee and reigning Order of Merit champion Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines will headline a star-studded field at the Higashi Hirono Golf Club.

After winning in April, Digvijay made changes to his swing but conceded that it has taken time to see the positive effects.

“I’m trying to incorporate a few changes into my swing. I’ve been a bit confused recently but I’m still going ahead with the new changes,” said Digvijay, who has made only one cut since his win at the Panasonic Open India.

Digvijay is among three Indians to win on the Asian Tour this season including Lahiri, winner of the SAIL-SBI Open on home soil and Bhullar. Jeev tasted success in Europe, winning the Scottish Open in July, and will be among the favourites to lift the title this week.

“Winning my first title outside of India would be awesome,” said the 40-year-old.

In-form Bhullar will be the man to watch after he defeated Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant, who holds a record of 14 Asian Tour victories, at the weather-shortened Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Taipei Monday.

“I’m going to play like 13-14 events in a row in the second half of the season and mentally I’m prepared for that,” said Bhullar, who moved to fifth place in the Order of Merit with winnings of US $209,046.

The top six players on the Merit list will feature in the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open including top-ranked Marcus Fraser of Australia, who leads with US $448,710, followed by Jbe Kruger who trails in second place by over US $8,000.

Thaworn, the only player with multiple Asian Tour victories this season, is third on US $318,389.

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