Chang Hwa, Chinese Taipei, July 21: Newest Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner Niall Turner of Ireland hopes to extend his winning run at this week’s Taifong Open which will get underway at the highly-rated Taifong Golf Club on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Irish, who claimed his breakthrough ADT win in Jakarta last week, will be part of the talented field from over 19 countries vying for honours at the US$160,000 event, richest on the ADT since the burgeoning Tour was launched as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour in 2010.
The Taifong Open will also mark the start of the ADT’s two-week swing in Chinese Taipei where all eyes will be on the lucrative prize money on offer in the schedule’s top-two richest events this season.
Turner believes his victory will serve as a timely confidence boost ahead of the Taifong Open, which is the 10th stop on the ADT this season.
Currently ranked 10th on the Order of Merit, Turner hopes to play his way back onto the region’s premier Tour by finishing inside the top-five at the end of the season so as to secure his Asian Tour card for 2015.
“It feels fantastic to secure my first ADT win last week. I had targeted to do well in this stretch of events. It will be an important few weeks on the ADT and I’m glad to win the first of the stretch which put me in good form ahead of the upcoming tournaments,” said Turner.
“I really want to get back on the Asian tour and I look forward to the two weeks here in Chinese Taipei,” added Turner.
Meanwhile England’s Peter Richardson is pleased with his current game despite missing out on his second victory to Turner by a mere shot last week.
He is hopeful his win will come soon given his recent good run of form where he had notched a total of four top-10 finishes so far this season.
“I played great last week. It is always a goal to win every week. To be able to win one of the events in Chinese Taipei where the prize money is big will definitely count a lot. My game is in great shape so hopefully I will be in contention this week,” said the Englishman, who won his first ADT title in Malaysia in 2012.
The Taifong Open is making its debut on the ADT this week after staging five editions on the domestic Chinese Taipei circuit previously, with the last edition won by local rising star and current Order of Merit leader Chan Shih-chang in 2010.
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. Previously, only the top-three players were offered Asian Tour cards.