Zhang and Liang to lead Chinese charge in Macao

Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand

Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand

Macao, October 5: China’s most decorated golfers, Zhang Lian-wei and Liang Wen-chong, will join defending champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert at the 2017 Macao Open, which will take place at the Macau Golf & Country Club from October 19 to 22.

Widely-known as the pioneer of golf in China, Zhang is a two-time winner of the Macao Open (2001 & 2002) and the only player ever to defend his title in the tournament’s 18-year history.

The 52-year-old Zhang from Zhuhai, China, has been the most passionate supporter of the popular event. Out of his 17 appearances at the storied event, the Chinese legend only missed the halfway cut once.

Zhang, who is playing regularly on the European Senior Tour now,  has recorded an impressive run of results this summer, which includes three top 15 finishes. He is also the first from his country to win on both the European Tour and the European Senior Tour, following respective victories at 2003 Caltex Masters and 2016 Wales Senior Open.

Zhang, a 19-time winner worldwide, said: “I am delighted and honoured to play at the Macao Open once again. This tournament started a few years after I turned professional and it played a big part in the development of my professional career.

“I have always felt comfortable in Macau and regardless of where I ended up in the leaderboard, I was always able to take something positive from the week competing there. I have had a strong summer on the senior tour and I look forward to competing well in Macao.”

Liang Wen-chong of China

Liang Wen-chong of China

Liang has been spending the majority of his time on the Asian and Japan Tours in recent years. An Order-of-Merit winner on both tours, and a winner on the European Tour, Liang is the only player from China to have competed in all four Majors, with his best showing a tied-eighth finish at the PGA Championship in 2010.

The 39-year-old Zhongshan-native claimed his 21st professional title at the Token Homemate Cup in Japan earlier this year.

Liang has competed in Macao for the past four years and his best showing came in his debut year in 2013 when he finished in tied-11th place. He commented: “I am very much looking forward to returning to play at the Macao Open. The event very much feels like a home event to me given its proximity to my home town, and the friendliness of all the staff and volunteers there.

“The playing field in Macao is ways of top quality and I enjoy competing there very much. The tournament is a regular on my schedule now, and I will look to another good run there this time round,” Liang added.

Local interest will be represented by the same young quartet that took part at the golf competition recent National Games of China. All under the age of 30, Tang Chak-hou (23), Xiao Jie-yu (29), Hun Pui-in (17), and Yan Si-huang (22) finished in 10th place in the group competition, and will look to utilise the experience gained there for a good showing in Macao.

Zhang Lian-wei of China

Zhang Lian-wei of China

One of the main objectives of the US$500,000 event is to offer a platform for upcoming local and regional talents to hone their skills against some of the most seasoned professionals on the tour, and with the likes of Pavit, Zhang, and Liang in the field, these four local youngsters can look forward to a great learning experience on their home course in two weeks’ time.

The four-day tournament will continue to be jointly organised by Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government (MSB) and the Golf Association of Macau. It is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG.

Over the years, many of the world’s best golfers have graced the fairways of the Macau Golf & Country Club, including Major winners Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Mark O’Meara, as well as European Ryder Cup stars, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgormerie. In all, 16 players from nine nations have won the Macao Open.

Entry to the 2017 Macao Open, which carries a total prize purse of US $500,000, is free. For more information, please visit www.themacaoopen.com.

Ends.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Elite Step Asia

T: +852 2808 0977

E: mail@elitestep.com

About Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government

Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macao SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macao, also to create an essential condition for sport development.

For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macao, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macao.

For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo

About Golf Association of Macau

Founded in 2000, the Golf Association of Macau is a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote, support and ensure the quality, traditions and development of the game of golf in Macao.

With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macao, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macao teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macao, which helps to represent Macao in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.

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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), 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), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Please visit us at:

www.asiantour.com

www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf

www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf

www.youtube.com/theasiantour

www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf

About IMG

IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.