China’s Liang Wen-chong knows a good result at this week’s Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup will set him on his way towards achieving his Olympic dream.
The 36-year-old, who made history by becoming the first mainland Chinese to win the coveted Asian Tour Order of Merit crown in 2007, has not made any starts on the region’s premier Tour this season.
Instead, he is sacrificing his playing opportunities with more practice time as he believes it is crucial for him to peak just in time for the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“I’m happy to see so many familiar faces and friends from the Asian Tour again as I haven’t been playing much on the Asian Tour or even in Europe. This is because I’ve been working on refining my game in the lead-up towards the 2016 Olympics.
The Olympics is a very big thing for us professional sportsmen in China and I’m working really hard towards achieving that goal and making China proud,” said Liang.
Despite not being in competitive mode, the Chinese showed he can be counted upon to make an impression whenever he does step up to the tee.
Liang’s tied-third finish in Sapporo last week is an indication that he is likely to be among the leading contenders for this week’s Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup.
“It was a great confidence boost and I’m definitely keen to ride on my rich vein of form heading into this week.
This is a very challenging course as the fairways are very narrow with thick rough. It will be interesting to see how we can overcome these challenges,” said Liang.
Liang’s title ambitions at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup will be put to test by a stellar field that includes home favourite Ryo Ishikawa, current Order of Merit leader David Lipsky of the United States and Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng, who is an eight-time Asian Tour winner and four-time champion in Japan.
The Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup is one of the oldest tournaments in Japan dating back to 1969. Now known as the Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup, the prestigious event has also been elevated to regional Open Championship status following an agreement between the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation and the Japan Golf Association.
The event continues to receive strong backing from Mitsubishi Corporation and Kansai Telecasting Corporation.
The Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup is owned by Mitsubishi Corporations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation and Japan Golf Association.