BAGUIO parbuster Mars Pucay is all set to try his luck this year when he flies to Thailand for the first leg of the Asian Tour International at the Suwan Golf and Country Club on February 4 to 7.

Pucay will be among the Asia's best golfers gunning for the $300,000 top price won by James Kamite in last year's staging.

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It promises to be an exciting start to the new Asian Tour season, which will include a minimum of 28 tournaments with nearly US$40 million up for grabs for the region's top starsover the next 12 months.

Players heading to Bangkok for the Asian Tour International will also be treated to a new challenge at Suwan Country Club as the management has put in place new greens, which were built immediately after the 2009 edition.

It is said the new greens are now one of the best in Bangkok.

Pucay is coming off from a good year after a respectable third place finish in last year's Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational and equaled his fourth finish in the Worldwide Selangor Masters and Macau Open.

"I have been working on my short game, particularly on putting because it is making a big difference during my games," the half Ibaloi, half Ifugao parbuster who is now based in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

After plying his trade for more than a decade in Asia, Mars made good in 2008 with three top-five finishes and two other top 10 finishes to put him in 54th place in the Asian Tour Order of Merit and earn his full card for the 2009 season.

He also enjoyed a tied 10th finish in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China with partner Angelo Que.

He rededicated himself to the Asian Tour in 2007, featuring in 14 events and was in the money on 10 occasions. His main highlight was a tied fifth finish at the Midea China Classic where he shot four rounds in the 60s, which gave him a huge confidence boost.

The Filipino went on to finish 17th in the Hero Honda Indian Open and Hana Bank Vietnam Masters to end the year in 72nd place in the Order of Merit.

Mars, whose full name is Marciano, has played on the Asian Tour since the mid-1990s. He has also qualified for the World Cup with Felix Casas in 1999.

"It will be a tough field but I think medyo maganda yung chance natin because of the tournaments that we joined prior to the Asian tour," added Pucay during a short meeting with local sports scribes in the Summer Capital. (Roderick Osis)