Han blog: A flying start to 2016

Thu 14 Apr 2016

Han blog: A flying start to 2016

By Kyi Hla Han, Asian Tour Commissioner
For Japanese version, please scroll to the bottom of the screen.
It has been a great start to 2016 with our talented members starting the season on a high note.
In the first seven Asian Tour tournaments, we welcomed two new and young winners while four other repeat champions made it a great start to what looks like a promising season ahead.
Younghan Song of Korea started the ball rolling when he defeated world number one Jordan Spieth at the SMBC Singapore Open staged at the Tour’s home, the Sentosa Golf Club.
Thitiphun Chuayprakong capped a solid victory at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open to win a first Asian Tour title and join a long list of illustrious Thai champions on the region’s premier Tour.
Shaun Norris of South Africa then dominated the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open while Marcus Fraser of Australia claimed the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia after a titanic duel with Korean rising star Soomin Lee.
Scott Hend of Australia made it eight victories on the Asian Tour when he charged to victory at the True Thailand Classic presented by Chang to become one of the most successful international golfers on our Tour.
At the Hero Indian Open, S.S.P. Chawrasia showed true grit to win his National Open after finishing second on four occasions. Despite being chased by reigning Order of Merit winner Anirban Lahiri and Korean rising star Jeunghun Wang, the Indian kept his cool to win by two shots.
It is gratifying to see our members seize the opportunity to shine on the international stage and their success reflects the growth of the Asian Tour in many ways.
While the champions hogged the limelight credit must also go to upcoming stars Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines, Lee and Wang. The trio who are in their early 20s have shown huge potential to go on and become stars of the game.
Tabuena finished tied fourth at the SMBC Singapore Open and at the Maybank Championship Malaysia, he rose from his sick bed to finish tied second after struggling with food poisoning at the start of the week.
The young Filipino’s stock continues to rise on the Asian Tour since he claimed his first title on the region’s premier Tour at the Philippine Open presented by ICTSI last December.
The baby-faced Lee was also a crowd favourite in Malaysia. He was in contention at the Maybank Championship Malaysia but nerves got the better of him in the final three holes. It was heartbreak for the Korean but at the age of 24, you can expect him to get better with experience.
In India, Wang, who represented Team Asia at the Eurasia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM and contributed half a point, pushed hard for a first Asian Tour title but was only defeated by a better Chawrasia, who produced sublime recovery shots throughout the week.
It is still early days in the season but there are many positive signs to show that 2016 will be another great year for the Asian Tour and our members.


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