Xiamen, Fujian, China, November 25: Asian Tour champion Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei will aim to bounce back from an uncharacteristic lackluster season when he headlines the inaugural Asian Golf Championship next week.
The 31-year-old Chan claimed his breakthrough win in Thailand last July before securing his second Asian Tour victory in Japan two months later. He has not won since then but hopes to turn the corner at the US$350,00 Asian Tour event.
With only three cuts made in 10 starts on the Asian Tour so far, Chan is eager to return to the winner’s circle in the event which will be played at the Kaikou Golf Club from November 30 to December 3.
“This is my first time going to Xiamen. I won a tournament in China two years ago and I would love to play there again. It’s closer to home too. It’s great to see the Asian Tour returning to China. It’s been so long since the Tour last held an event there.
“I hope to play more Asian Tour events in China in future. These are very good playing opportunities for us. The season hasn’t been that good for me. I have been struggling with my iron-play. Hopefully it will get better at the Asian Golf Championship,” said Chan.
The slightly-built Chan enjoyed a solid season on the Asian Tour last year, claiming two victories and one top-three result to finish in a career-high of fourth place on the 2016 Order of Merit.
Chan hopes to make full use of his experience of playing in Europe this year. He earned playing opportunities after winning the King’s Cup in Thailand last year which was co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
“Winning twice last year was indeed a life-changing experience for me. It was an achievement that I have worked very hard for. To me, it just shows that my hard work has paid off but I still have to keep working hard. It wasn’t an ending but a new beginning for me,” Chan added.
Prior to his breakthrough on the Asian Tour last year, Chan established himself as one of the most successful players on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), which was launched as a gateway to the Asian Tour in 2010.
With five ADT titles under his belt, Chan shares the record of having the most wins on the secondary circuit with Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand. He also became the first player to win three times in a single season on the ADT in 2014.
The Asian Golf Championship will be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and China Golf Association (CGA) with a field breakdown of 56 Asian Tour professionals, 48 China Tour professionals and four special invitations.
Other notable players in the field include Nicholas Fung of Malaysia, Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, Korean-American Anthony Kang as well as Marcus Both of Australia, all winners on the Asian Tour.
The Asian Golf Championship is part of the Asian Tour’s strategic partnership with the China Golf Association where the goal is to grow and develop professional golf in the region.
Players from the China Tour will be eligible to take up associate memberships with the Asian Tour, with the top-five non-exempt players from the China Tour Order of Merit at the end of the season receiving spots into the Final Stage of the 2018 Asian Tour Qualifying School.
The winner of the Asian Golf Championship will earn exemption on the Asian Tour under the winner’s category and for Chinese professionals, their earnings will count towards the Asian Tour Order of Merit and China Tour Order of Merit.
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.
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