Baek eyes breakthrough

Fri 27 Sep 2013

Baek eyes breakthrough

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Taipei, September 27: Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun is eager to shed his ‘Nearly Man’ tag when he tees up for another shot at glory at next week’s US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters.
The 23-year-old Korean has been in contention for his maiden Asian Tour title on numerous occasions this season but has yet to convert those close calls into victories on the region’s premier Tour.
With memories of last year’s performance at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club still firmly etched in his mind, Baek is hopeful of securing that elusive win when the richest Asian Tour event in Chinese Taipei makes its return from October 3-6.
“I played very well last year but I just messed it up on the last day. I guess I was too eager to win and got carried away,” said Baek, who was well placed to clinch the title until a closing 78 saw him finish in eighth place last year.
Baek has posted four top-fives in 11 starts this season and is currently in fifth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
While he is well positioned on the rankings to feature in the other high profiles events including the upcoming CIMB Classic and the WGC-HSBC Champions, it is a win at one of his favourite golf courses that Baek is keeping his focus on for next week.
“I like Taiwan Golf and Country Club as it suits my game.  This year, I’ll try to be smarter and play my own game,” said Baek.
“Anything can happen in golf and you can expect the unexpected. My drives and putting are getting better and I’m returning as a totally improved player. I just want to do my best and I know the result will come,” added Baek.
Bangladesh’s Siddikur is meanwhile hoping to ignite a late charge at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters and break into the top-10 on the Order of Merit so as to secure his place at the CIMB Classic.
Siddikur’s confidence has been buoyed by historic qualification for the World Cup of Golf which is the first ever by a Bangladeshi.
“It’s definitely a proud moment for me to represent Bangladesh at the World Cup in November but right now want to focus on the present and do well at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters. I’ve very good memories from 2010 so I’ll try to recall those happy memories and do my best at the event,” said Siddikur, who finished second at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2010.
“Many people say that it is a tough golf course but I like playing there. It reminds me of my golf course back in Bangladesh. I was striking the ball very good in 2010 and you need to have good accuracy at the course because the fairways are so narrow.  There’s still a lot to play for next week and I believe I’m good enough to win my second Asian Tour title there,” added the Bangladeshi, who is the first from his country to win an Asian Tour title in Brunei in 2010.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters has long been the mainstay of the Asian Tour Schedule and will welcome over 30 Tour champions and players from the region’s premier Tour as they battle for the lucrative winner’s prize purse of US$120,000.
Other contenders for the Mercuries Taiwana Masters include the leading three players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Australia’s Scott Hend.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.