A strong line-up of 14 Asian Development Tour (ADT) champions, led by three-time winner Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand, will headline the 15th ADT Chang Hwa Open which gets underway on Thursday.
Nine players in the current top-10 of the Order of Merit including second-ranked Pavit, American Brett Munson, Niall Turner of Ireland and Malaysia’s Arie Irawan will tee up in the US$100,000 tournament at the Chang Hwa Golf Club.
China’s Ye Jian-feng, Australian Darren Tan, Singaporean duo Koh Deng Shan and Choo Tze Huang will also be amongst an international mix of players from over 17 countries to converge for what is the 18th leg of the ADT season.
Title holder Hung Chien-yao, who claimed a three-shot victory last year, will spearhead the local challenge alongside veteran Yeh Wei-tze and two-time Asian Tour winner Chan Yih-shin at the Chang Hwa Open, which is returning onto the ADT Schedule for the second straight year.
In-form Arie, who is sixth on the Order of Merit, will continue his chase for a maiden victory following seven top-10s so far this season. A win will push him into top-five of the rankings which is the cut-off to earn an Asian Tour card for 2015.
“My recent results have given me a lot of confidence and assurance that I have the capabilities to contend on the ADT. My biggest aim right now is to break into top-five of the rankings,” said the 24-year-old Malaysian.
“I’ve been playing consistently. I hope to continue the good run of form so I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’ve learnt a lot since turning professional last year. The maturity in my game is getting better. It’s starting to show a lot in my game,” added Arie.
The Chang Hwa Open will be the ADT’s third and final stop in Chinese Taipei this season, following the successful staging of the Taifong Open and Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship in July and August respectively.
Since its inauguration in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn Asian Tour cards for 2015.
All ADT events also receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status which is a boost for the game in the region.