How fitting that it comes down to this.
As most of his countrymen are downing tools for a well-earned Christmas break, Marcus Fraser is playing the BNI Indonesian Masters with a revised playing schedule somewhat on the line.
Defending champion and world No.2 Justin Rose and major champion Henrik Stenson headline a strong field at Royal Jakarta Golf Club that includes Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Shubhankar Sharma, Anibarn Lahiri and four-time winner this year, South Africa’s Justin Harding.
It was back at the Fiji International that Fraser first aired his intention to play predominantly in Australia and Asia after 16 years of plying his trade on the European Tour, determined to dedicate more time to his family from 2019 onwards.
Now, having finished fourth at the Emirates Australian Open, the man from the Murray River comes into the Asian Tour’s final event of the season – his ninth in Asia this year – 60th on the Order of Merit and in need of a decent result to retain his card for 2019.
Fraser is one of a number of Australians sitting around the top-60 cut-off that determines who retains full playing privileges for next year and who will be required to return to Q School later this month.
A two-time winner on the Asian Tour, Fraser broke a six-year winless drought at the 2016 Maybank Championship in Malaysia and sits less than $1,500 in front of 61st-placed Nicholas Fung.
Fellow European Tour regular Andrew Dodt failed to retain his card and sits 57th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, a solid week enough to provide the Queenslander with his own sense of security having received an invitation to play in the event.
For those on the outside of the top-60 looking in, New South Welshman Andrew Martin needs to bank a cheque of around $10,000 this week to move inside the top-60 from his current position of 63rd while Josh Younger, Jarryd Felton, Maverick Antcliff and Steven Jeffress all sit between 70th and 77th position.
The likes of Daniel Nisbet, Terry Pilkadaris, Jake Higginbottom and Kiwi Ben Campbell all sit comfortably inside the top-60 and are playing this week where they will be joined in the field by Scott Hend, Matt Stieger, Adam Blyth, David Gleeson and New Zealand left-hander Gareth Paddison.
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