Kaohsiung, Taiwan, July 25: Local stars will be determined to recapture the trophy when they tee off at the US$110,000 Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship from July 31 to Aug 3 next week.
Malaysia’s Iain Steel broke the local stronghold when he became the first international player to lift the trophy at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship last year.
Order of Merit leader Chan Shih-chang and local hero Lin Wen-tang are expected to spearhead the local charge when the fifth edition of the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship goes to the Ta Kang Shan Golf Course in Kaohsiung city for the first time next week.
Leading players from over 20 countries, including 2012 ADT Order of Merit winner Jay Bayron of Philippines, past ADT winners American Brett Munson, Grant Jackson of England will be challenging for top honours at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship, which is the 11thstop on the ADT schedule this season.
First staged in 2010 when the ADT was launched as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour, the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship is by far the oldest event on the burgeoning Tour.
Chan, who has claimed a total of three ADT victories, hailed the return of the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship and is determined to put in his best when he challenges for a record fourth title next week.
“I’ve been doing great so far this year. I’ve seen a lot of improvements in myself, especially my mental game and I am very happy about it. I really hope to win an ADT event on home soil. That would mean a lot to me. My current game is very good so hopefully I can make it to the top next week,” said the 28-year-old.
Rising star Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei is hoping to bounce back to form by taking advantage of home comforts especially after a lacklustre performance so far.
“I’m trying to get back a bit of consistency that has not been there for the past few weeks. Hopefully I can rely on home advantage to get a good result next week. I’ll definitely try my best to keep the trophy in Taiwan!” said Hung.
The Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship was previously won by locals that included Lin (2010), Kao Shang-hung (2011) and Hsieh Chi-hsien (2012).
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.
Source: Asian Tour