Three Asian players earn Masters tickets

Three Asian Tour players, Anirban Lahiri, Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat will receive invitations to the Masters Tournament in April after ending 2015 in the top-50 of the World Golf Rankings.

The 46-year-old Thongchai finished the year ranked 28th, after winning once and claiming eight other top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season.

Kiradech finished his year ranked in 38th position after two wins on the European Tour and nine top 10 finishers around the world. He climbed nearly a 100 places in the rankings from the start of 2015.

Ranked in 40th place is Lahiri, who won in Malaysia and India and finished tied fifth at the PGA Championship this year.

In an interview with the Asian Tour website, Thailand’s Thongchai said that he was very proud of his achievements and was excited to be playing in his fifth Masters Tournament.

“I’m very proud of my achievements. Finishing so high up in the world rankings makes me very happy," he said.

"I have worked very hard with my coach and my game was very consistent this year, especially my putting.

“I want to keep improving and keep playing good golf next year. I’m also very excited to play in my fifth Masters next April as to me; it’s the best tournament in the world.”

The 26-year-old Kiradech told the Asian Tour site that he was glad to have broken into the top 50 of world top rankings and added that he could not wait to play in the Masters.

“I am so happy to end the year in the world’s top-50. I guess winning twice this year helped me achieve this goal and I hope to keep moving up in the rankings and hopefully break into the top-30, top-20 and top-20 in time to come," he said.

“I also cannot wait to play in the Masters Tournament as I have heard so much great things about this event and the golf course. 

"I have always watched the Masters on TV and it will be a dream come true to tee up in the tournament with Thongchai and Anirban,” he added.

The 28-year-old Lahiri felt that three Asian Tour players finishing in the world's top 50 was a clear indication that standards were very much on the rise.

“Starting out the year, finishing in the world’s top-50 was one of my main goals and I’m delighted to achieve this target," he said.

"It also means a lot to me as I will have the opportunity to play in my second Masters Tournament after making my debut this year,” said Lahiri.

“Playing in all four rounds at Augusta National was certainly one of the main highlights of my 2015 season and I’m looking forward to heading back there again for another crack at this great tournament.

“I think it’s also fantastic to see Thongchai and Kiradech featuring in the world’s top-50 which is a great reflection of the strength of the Asian Tour.”