Kaohsiung, Taiwan, July 29: In-form Choo Tze Huang of Singapore remains upbeat about his chances ahead of the US$110,000 Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship which gets underway at the highly-rated Ta Kang Shan Golf Course in Kaohsiung city on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Singaporean will be part of the international field from over 20 countries ready to compete against the leading players from Chinese Taipei at the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event which is returning for its fifth edition this week.
Choo, who is currently ranked 18th on the ADT Order of Merit, is looking for his career breakthrough on the ADT and is determined to play his way back to the region’s premier Tour should he finish inside the top-five on the merit rankings at the end of the season.
Choo has enjoyed a good season so far where he notched three top-10 finishes on the burgeoning circuit, including a tied-sixth finish last week as well as notching a career-high tied-sixth finish at the Queen’s Cup on the premier Asian Tour last month.
“I had a good week last week where I led the first round and was in contention throughout the week. It was a little disappointing for me because I knew I had a chance (to win). Nonetheless, I am still happy with how I played. I learnt a lot from last week and I believe better chances will come soon,” said a rejuvenated Choo.
“My game’s getting better. I have been working really very hard on all aspects of my game. It’s good to see my efforts paying off. My current aim is to play more consistently. I’m looking to play this week,” added Choo.
Other players who will lead the international field at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship which is the oldest tournament on the ADT include past winners Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand, England’s Grant Jackson, American James Bowen and 2012 Order of Merit Champion, Jay Bayron of the Philippines.
Local sensation Chan Shih-chang, who claimed an unprecedented fourth ADT title on home soil last week, will spearhead the strong line-up of local hopefuls including veteran Lin Wen-tang, a six-time Asian Tour winner and winner of the 2010 ADT Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship, as well as Asian Tour winners Chan Yih-shin and Lu Wei-chih.
Chan, who will most likely seal the top Order of Merit spots on the ADT and his domestic circuit courtesy of his excellent run of good form this season, is determined to keep the trophy on home soil after Malaysia’s Iain Steel became the first foreign player to lift the trophy last year.
“I just want to keep the trophy on home soil. I have been doing very well so I will definitely give it all my best again this week. There’s no secret to winning for me. It is just hard work, experience as well as a bit of luck. You’ve to believe you can do it and it will do wonders,” said Chan, who had claimed a total of five victories this year, including two on the local Tour.
A total of 144 players will compete in the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship this week, with the field being split between the ADT and Taiwan PGA. The Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship will be the 11th leg of the 2014 ADT season.
The ADT was launched with five tournaments in 2010 before growing to eight in 2011, 13 in 2012, 16 in 2013 and a record 20 tournaments in the 2014 season.
This season, the ADT will reward the top five players on the final Order of Merit with playing rights for the 2015 Asian Tour season and also continue to offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.