Dawn of golden era at Mercuries Taiwan Masters

Wed 25 Sep 2013

Dawn of golden era at Mercuries Taiwan Masters

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Taipei, September 25: Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Chi-huang will lead a group of proven winners in their 40s into next week’s US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters where he will seek to defend his title and secure a hat-trick of victories at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.
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 over four days from October 3-6.
Tsai’s convincing four-shot victory last year was his second triumph at the Asian Tour’s richest event in Chinese Taipei following his maiden triumph in 2002.
For Tsai, who will be turning 45 in four days, the Mercuries Taiwan Masters represents another opportunity to be part of the 40-something brigade who has demonstrated that old is indeed gold with their victories secured way into their forties.
“Age is really just a number. I don’t feel old and I’m just enjoying my game at the moment. I felt really lucky when I won last year but of course it also helps when I know the course so well,” said Tsai.
“I’ve played there so many times since I was a boy and I always feel very relaxed on the golf course,” added Tsai.
Tsai will have the company of fellow veterans Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand (46), Singapore’s Mardan Mamat (45) as well as compatriot Lu Wen-teh (51) who will be banking on his home course advantage to steer him towards his another Mercuries Taiwan Masters following his previous wins in 2007 and 2008.
While Mardan has not yet reached the highs of last season where he enjoyed one victory and three top-10s, the Singaporean will be looking to reproduce the form that led him to his third Asian Tour victory in the Philippines last year.
Thaworn is undoubtedly one of the headline acts for the Mercuries Taiwan Masters as he will be back in Chinese Taipei for the second time in two weeks, attempting to rewrite the record books again.
Despite a slow start to the season, the decorated Thai ace showed never to write off an old man when he staged a late comeback on the final day to win a record 16th Asian Tour title at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Taipei a fortnight ago.
With the Mercuries Taiwan Masters as the last event for players to break into the top-10 and secure a place in the lucrative CIMB Classic in October, Thaworn will once again be looking to haul himself back into contention for a starting place in Malaysia next month.
“I’m very proud that I can still win professional tournaments even at the age of 46. I’ve been struggling with my irons lately but my short game has helped to make up for it,” said Thaworn.
“Hopefully everything will come together nicely as we embark on this exciting run of events,” added the Thai veteran.
Philippines’ Angelo Que, Bangladesh’s Siddikur, Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and Pariya Junhasavasdikul are also among the likely contenders expected to put up a strong fight as the Mercuries Taiwan Masters which is also the penultimate event for players seeking a place at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
Players are vying for lucrative spots to the WGC-HSBC Champions which are up for grabs for the top players on the current Asian Tour OOM.
Local hopefuls Lin Wen-tang, Chan Yih-shih and Lu Wei-chih who have a combined total of 11 Asian Tour titles will be eyeing further glory on home soil with India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Australia’s Scott Hend providing the stiff international challenge at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters.
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.