2013 Rewind: The Great Escape Artiste

Tue 11 Mar 2014

2013 Rewind: The Great Escape Artiste

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March 11: In this chapter from the Asian Tour's 2013 Year In Review, we take a look back at the inaugural 2013 Solaire Open where Lin Wen-tang dramatically ended a four-year title drought with two remarkable shots from out of the trees. Please click here to read more feature articles from our 2013 Year in Review.
The Great Escape Artiste
Lin ends four-year title drought
If there is one golfer who can pull off an audacious recovery shot from a seemingly lost cause, it would be Lin Wen-tang.
The man from Chinese Taipei lived up to his reputation as a great escape artiste when he produced two remarkable shots to make a birdie and par save from the trees in the closing two holes to end a four-year drought at the inaugural Solaire Open.
His dramatic feat mirrored his victory at the 2008 Hong Kong Open where he pulled off a wonder recovery shot over the trees to keep himself in a play-off before defeating Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari.
“I felt like I was at the Hong Kong Open once again! I think Lady Luck was on my side to let me win this tournament. I told myself to stay focus and not think about anything else,” said Lin, who totalled three-under-par 285 to earn the top cheque of US$54,000.
Lin was at the peak of his career from between 2004 to 2011 where he notched five Asian Tour titles and built a reputation among his peers and adoring golf fans.
However, the 38-year-old struggled with niggling injuries and a cold putter in 2012 and subsequently lost his full playing rights on the region’s premier Tour.
But true to his never-say-never attitude, Lin bounced back at the Solaire Open to defeat Asian Tour rookie Richard T. Lee of Canada and Thai veteran Thammanoon Sriroj by one-shot at the venerable Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
“Yes, it has been a long wait. It has been four years since I last won. I’m really glad I did it. Something which not many people know about me is that I have very strong motivation and I never give up,” smiled Lin.
Thammanoon, a five-time Asian Tour winner, needed to birdie the last hole to force a play-off but caught an unlucky break when his approach shot landed on the edge of the slightly elevated final green.
“My legs were inside the bunker but my ball was on the edge of the green. It wasn’t easy to chip it out,” lamented the 43-year-old.
Canadian Lee, who played at the 2007 U.S. Open as an amateur, was delighted to claim his second top-10 finish in three Asian Tour appearances after shooting a final round 69 at the challenge Wack Wack course.
“It was very exciting because I had to watch the outcome from the clubhouse. I’m glad with how I played and will take this confidence into the few Asian Tour events,” said Lee.