Taipei, September 9: Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih hopes to put his brain tumour surgery behind him by winning the US$500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) for the second time in his career.
Lu, who won the Yeangder TPC in 2011, will be joined by Daniel Chopra of Sweden, Korean-American Chan Kim and defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand at the Yeangder TPC, which starts on Thursday at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Lu missed the opportunity to defend his title in 2012 as he was diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour in the middle of 2012. He took almost a year to recuperate from the brain tumour surgery before making a courageous return to the Asian Tour at the Yeangder TPC last year where he finished tied-32nd.
He is beginning to show improvements in his health and golf game as he enjoyed a third place finish on the local circuit two weeks ago.
“It’s been a mixture of feelings for me coming back here this week. It seems like a lot has happened since I last won here. It was quite tough for me when I first came back to play last year but I’m glad it’s slowly picking up,” said Lu, a three-time Asian Tour winner.
“My fitness is slowly improving and I managed to make halfway cuts in the two consecutive events on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) last month. My fitness was a lot worse when I first came back to play last year. I get tired very easily and I couldn’t play two weeks in a row,” he explained.
Lu’s immediate goal is to return into the winner’s circle and revive his golf career on the Asian Tour. “I’ve been doing well lately which gave me a lot of confidence in my game. I will keep working hard so hopefully my game will get better. I would definitely hope to win this tournament again,” said the 35-year-old.
Chopra, a two-time PGA Tour winner, is feeling upbeat about returning to Chinese Taipei, a country where he won the 1995 Taiwan Open and 2011 Taiwan Masters.
“It’s a pleasure coming back to Chinese Taipei this week. I’ve been coming here since I was 14 and I’ve had great success here so this place holds a lot of good memories for me. It’s a place that I always love coming back to,” said the 40-year-old Chopra.
“Every time I come back to Asia, it seems to reinvigorate my game a little bit. It always gets me motivated to start playing well again. I’ve had injuries for the past couple of years but my form is not too bad recently. It’s just a matter of how you play when your body is hurting,” he added.
Meanwhile Kim, winner of the 2013 Asian Tour Qualifying School, is hoping to make up for the disappointment last year where he agonisingly missed out on his maiden victory to Thaworn.
“I have been working on my game recently and it is coming back to shape. With my experience here last year, I’m definitely looking forward to this week!” said an upbeat Kim.
“I struggled in the first quarter of the season where I missed three consecutive cuts. I had a couple of back issues so it wasn’t the best start to the season. However, I managed to play well in Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines after that so I’m feeling pretty confident now,” added the 24-year-old.
Source: Asian Tour