Liang Is India's New Hero

Sun 12 Oct 2008

Liang Is India's New Hero


New Delhi, October 12: Chinese star Liang Wen-chong birdied the last two holes for an emphatic wire-to-wire success at the Hero Honda Indian Open on Sunday.


Liang, who was the 2007 Asian Tour's Order of Merit winner, nailed a two-under-par 70 at the Delhi Golf Club for a one stroke triumph over Australian rookie Darren Beck who posted a steady 65.


With a winning total of 16-under-par 272, Liang walked away with the top prize of US$158,500 and rises to fifth place on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit.


"I'm delighted with this win. It's my first triumph from start to finish and I'm really happy," said the jubilant Liang.


Australia's Adam Blyth was even-par for the day and claimed third place while Jeev Milkha Singh was the highest ranked local finisher when he carded a 69 for a 276 total to finish in lone fourth spot.


It was a remarkable week for Liang who opened his campaign with a superb 60 on Thursday. He then fired two straight 71s and held on to a one stroke advantage heading into the final round.


The Zhongshan-born champion was three under after nine holes today but he slipped on the back nine by dropping a shot on the 14th hole coupled with a double bogey on the 15th.


Beck took advantage by firing a birdie on the final hole for a one stroke lead but Liang bounced back thanks to an accurate drive on the 17th hole and a superb chip on the 18th hole which left him with a three foot birdie putt for the win.


"This is an important win for me. It proves that I'm heading in the right direction.


"I was over thinking about my shot on the 14th hole when I was in the bunker which resulted in a bogey and I chose the wrong club on the 15th hole. I was 154 yards to the pin and I used an eight iron. But I kept it together with two birdies for a great finish," said Liang, who won the Singapore Masters last year.


Australia's Beck clawed his way up from a six stroke deficit in the final round by holing seven birdies today to finish in lone second place.


"I'm delighted with my performance this week. I'm surprised to have done well but it's because I've been focusing on my mental game in the past few weeks. I felt confident and not nervous which has been my main problem before.


"I was practicing my putting while waiting for Liang to complete his round but when I heard the roar of the crowd, I knew Liang had holed the winning putt on the 18th," said the New South Wales golfer, who triumphed on home soil last week.


Singh, who won the Order of Merit in 2006, enjoyed a birdie on the last hole to finish in outright fourth spot.


"I had a stiff neck but I took some pain killers and I didn't feel a thing during the round. I am very happy with my performance today," said Singh, who recorded his best finish at the Delhi Golf Club.


Jyoti Randhawa carded a 74 and finished in a tie for 57th place after a 290 total.


Leading final round scores

272 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 60-71-71-70

273 - Darren Beck (AUS) 70-70-68-65

275 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 70-67-66-72

276 - Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 65-74-68-69

277 - Guido Van Der Valk (NED) 77-61-70-69

279 - Mukesh Kumar (IND) 68-73-68-70, Ashok Kumar (IND) 70-67-70-72

280 - Muhammad Munir (PAK) 69-69-72-70, Mars Pucay (PHI) 71-67-70-72

281 - Marcus Both (AUS) 74-69-70-68, Sanjay Kumar (IND) 66-72-73-70, Rhys Davies (WAL) 70-72-69-70, Artemio Murakami (PHI) 74-67-68-72, Mark Brown (NZL) 71-67-69-74, Steven Tiley (ENG) 72-66-69-74

282 - Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 67-73-71-71, Jaiveer Virk (IND) 71-69-71-71, Wu Ashun (CHN) 72-71-68-71, Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 66-71-71-74, Unho Park (AUS) 67-71-66-78


About the Asian Tour

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 Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider), Sofitel (Official Hotel), TIME and FORTUNE (Corporate Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.