Chan to bank on winning memories

Noda City, Chiba prefecture, Japan, April 12: Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang will be eager to revive his winning memories in Japan when the Panasonic OPEN Japan gets underway at the Chiba Country Club, Umesato course in Noda City, Chiba prefecture next week.

It was in Japan last year where Chan secured his second Asian Tour title in the Land of the Rising Sun, barely two months after his breakthrough in Thailand in July.

Those two victories led the 30-year-old to finish in a career high of fourth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2016 and he is looking forward to ride on those positive vibes for another win in Japan again.

“Japan has been good to me. My win in Osaka was my biggest win since I turned professional. I remember playing without much expectations and in hindsight, it was probably good as there was less pressure on me.” – Chan Shih-chang

“Japan has been good to me. My win in Osaka was my biggest win since I turned professional.

“I remember playing without much expectations and in hindsight, it was probably good as there was less pressure on me,” said Chan.

Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei

Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei

Chan, who is gunning for his third win on the Asian Tour, will be adopting the same mindset at the 150 million Yen (approximately US$1.37 million) event which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

“It’ll be the same each time I tee up for a competition. The goal is always to win and if I get into contention, the key would then be to stay calm and play the best I can.

“There are several strong Japanese players and it’s going to be tough. But you never know, anything can happen in golf,” said Chan.

A good result at the Panasonic OPEN Japan will also help kick start Chan’s sputtering start to the 2017 season, having only made the cut twice in five starts on the Asian Tour.

“I haven’t really played that well since the start of the year but I believe I will bounce back to form very quickly and next week’s Panasonic OPEN Japan will give me the opportunity to do that,” said Chan.

More than 30 Tour winners from over 15 countries including Chan are set to tee off against a strong Japanese field that will also feature defending champion Yuta Ikeda, Koumei Oda and Hiroyuki Fujita from JGTO.

Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng, who claimed his 10th Asian Tour title at the season-opening co-sanctioned event with the JGTO in Singapore this year, is another prominent heavyweight set to light up the Panasonic OPEN Japan, which starts from April 20-23.

At 51, the Thai veteran is still capable of matching his younger rivals and is not showing any signs of slowing down.

“Golf is my life and I’ll continue to play and compete for as long as I can. I always enjoy playing in Japan and I hope to continue doing well there too,” said Prayad, who is also a multiple winner on the Japan Golf Tour.

Panasonic Corporation, which is a long-standing worldwide Olympic Games partner, has supported professional golf at the highest level in Asia through its title sponsorship of the Panasonic Open India since 2011 and the Panasonic OPEN Japan which was launched in 2016.

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

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