Kuala Lumpur: David Lipsky has overtaken Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri for the top spot in the Asian Tour Order of Merit list after the American won the European Masters in Switzerland Sunday. Lipsky now hopes to conquer another lofty goal by winning the Order of Merit this season.
The 26-year-old secured his career's biggest victory with a terrific play-off triumph over Graeme Storm at Crans Montana to surpass Lahiri at the top of the Asian Tour rankings with his season's haul of $645,770.
His second Asian Tour win saw Lipsky join an illustrious list of champions at the European Masters which includes Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Ian Woosnam, Colin Montgomerie and Nick Price.
He also became only the second American after Craig Stadler to taste victory in the only tournament on European soil to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
"Winning the Order of Merit was one of my goals when I started out the year and to be in the position that I'm in right now, I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the season both in Europe and in Asia," said Lipsky, who earned a cheque of $504,057.
Lahiri, who finished a commendable tied 13th after closing with a superb 64, finds himself trailing the new Merit leader by $357,897 as the Asian Tour enters its business-end of the season. He lamented a poor start to his week and knows he must start playing catch-up now.
"I definitely needed this result (64) as it has been a tough week. I played well but I haven't scored. It was very important to pick myself up after the opening 70. I played flawless golf in the first 10 holes where I was three-under and I should have played much better right through the week," said the Indian, who has earned $287,873 this season.
"I'm sure I'm going to kick on from here. I've had a good first half (of the season) but that's over and it's time to focus on the second half and winning the Order of Merit is certainly one of my goals. I'm playing well enough to do well and I want to win and not just play during the weekend. There's a lot of golf left and consistency will be the key for me."
The Asian Tour now heads to the $500,000 Tournament Players Championship at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club in Taipei this week.
1. David Lipsky (USA) $645,770
2. Anirban Lahiri (IND) $287,873
3. Rikard Karlberg (SWE) $153,440
4. Rahil Gangjee (IND) $113,508
5. Baek Seuk-hyun (KOR) $109,134
6. Richard T. Lee (CAN) $97,438
7. S.S.P Chowrasia (IND) $87,457
8. Antonio Lascuna (PHI) $85,098
9. Siddikur Rahman (BAN) $79,879
10. Rashid Khan (IND) $77,697