ADT: Steel claims long-awaited victory

Sun 11 Aug 2013

ADT: Steel claims long-awaited victory

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Taipei, August 11: Malaysia’s Iain Steel claimed his long-awaited maiden victory on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) with a sizzling final round eight-under-par 64 at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship on Sunday.
After four days of intense battle, the Malaysian finally emerged top of the field when he fired 10 birdies against two bogeys to sign off with a winning total of 11-under-par 277 at the US$110,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event, which is the richest tournament on the schedule.
Australian rookie Daniel Bringolf settled for second place after closing with a 69 while England’s Steve Lewton, who led after the first two rounds, closed with a 72 to share third place with overnight leader, Yeh Wei-tze of Chinese Taipei on matching 280s at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club.
Canadian Lindsay Renolds and local amateur Lee Chieh-po carded rounds of 73 and 74 respectively to finish a further shot back on equal fifth while three-time Asian Tour winner Lu Wei-chih, who made a comeback after taking a year's medical leave to recover from a brain tumour surgery, settled for seventh place on 283.
Steel's victory was a welcome relief as he had to endure years of frustration of missing out on a grandstand finish that was caused largely by a back injury.
“This win means a lot to me. It definitely boosted my confidence, a lot. I’ve been suffering from a back injury for two years now and it has kind of sidelined my game as I have to cope with a sore back most of the time," said Steel.
"However, I’ve been telling myself that I can still compete. I guess I’ve proved myself right this week,” added the 42-year-old, who is one of the most experienced golfers on the Asian Tour.
Steel's closest claim to fame on the Asian Tour came in 2007 when he narrowly lost to China's Liang Wen-chong in a play-off at the Singapore Masters.
While Steel spends most of his time playing on the ADT today, he is delighted to know that he can still compete at the highest level and has the opportunity to move up the world rankings with his win.
“I’ve been playing consistently on the ADT since the start of the season and I came into contention for a couple of times. It took me a while to adjust to playing on the ADT after playing on the Asian Tour earlier for six to seven years," said Steel.
"The world ranking points are a bonus for players and it makes the field on the ADT stronger as well,” added Steel, who took home the winner’s prize purse of US$20,000 which propelled him to fourth on the ADT Order of Merit. He also received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points courtesy of his victory.
With his win, Steel not only became the first non-Chinese Taipei player to win an ADT event in Chinese Taipei but also the first Malaysian to win an ADT event outside of Malaysia.
Meanwhile rookie Bringolf is satisfied with his performance despite missing on his maiden ADT win.
The Australian took consolation that he can still earn OWGR points even though he finished second this week.
“I played pretty good today even though I got off to a slow start and missed the chance for an eagle on the 18th hole. Overall, it has been a very good experience this week and I’m very happy with how I played,” said the Australian, who is playing in his rookie year on the ADT this year.
“There have been quite a bit of ups and downs this season but I think things are turning for the better now. It’s my rookie year on the ADT and I hope to gain as much as experience as I can. I look forward to playing more on the ADT in future as I get to earn world ranking points which is really important for a player,” added the 23-year-old, who mixed his card with six birdies against three bogeys.
The top three players to finish on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of this season will receive Asian Tour cards for 2014.
All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points, which will be used to determine the field for the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne in November and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Winners on the ADT will receive a minimum of six world ranking points while the top six players and ties will earn points based on a sliding scale.

Leading final round scores:

277 - Iain STEEL (MSA) 73-70-70-64
278 – Daniel BRINGOLG (AUS) 70-72-67-69
280 – Steve LEWTON (ENG) 65-67-76-72, YEH Wei-tze (TWN) 70-70-67-73
281 – Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN) 68-71-69-73, LEE Chieh-po (A) (TWN) 70-70-67-74
283 – LU Wei-chih (TWN) 72-70-69-72
284 – LU Wen-teh (TWN) 78-68-71-67, HUNG Chien-yao (TWN) 71-70-74-69, CHANG Tse-Peng (TWN) 72-70-70-72, CHAN Yih-shin (TWN) 74-70-68-72, Darren TAN (AUS) 72-72-68-72, Grant JACKSON (ENG) 70-70-71-73
Ends.
About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No 2 ultra-premium Scotch whisky in Asia, No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 129 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.
•          Ballantine’s has been title sponsor of the Ballantine’s Championship since 2008
•          Ballantine’s is an official sponsor of the BMW Masters, The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open & The World Cup of Golf
•          The first Ballantine’s sponsored golf tournament was played in 1960 at Wentworth Golf Club, England
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading three players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.