Lu Claims Memorable Home Triumph at Mercuries Taiwan Masters

Sun 23 Sep 2007

Lu Claims Memorable Home Triumph at Mercuries Taiwan Masters

Taipei, September 23: Local star Lu Wen-teh claimed his second win on the Asian Tour this season when he lifted the Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Sunday.

Lu, who has previously won the tournament back in 1994 and 1996, held his game for an even-par 72 in the final round on his home course at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club. He produced a four-under-par 284 winning total and walked away with the top prize of US$100,000.

Overnight leader from Korea Ted Oh, who started the final round with a one stroke cushion, was unable to find his rhythm as he carded a 76 and finished three strokes behind Lu for the runner-up spot at the US$500,000 event.

With the win, the 43-year-old Lu earned US$220,572 in total earnings this season and rises to seventh spot on the Asian Tour?s UBS Order of Merit. He also became the first Chinese Taipei player to surpass the US$1 million mark in total earnings on the Asian Tour with US$1,017,586.

?This is the first time I?ve won twice in a season on the Asian Tour, it feels really good to achieve that today. After closing the gap yesterday, I knew that I was in for a very strong chance at the title. I guess when the weather is not too good, it plays to my advantage just like how it was before,? said Lu, who had previously won the Macau Open in May.

Lu, who turned professional in 1992, was one under midway through for a two stroke lead over Oh who was two over on the front nine. Lu suffered a double bogey on the 11th hole but he was back on track with birdies on the 13th and 15th holes. He dropped a shot on the 16th but sealed his win with a two feet par putt on the 18th hole.

?I have been playing on this course for the past 33 years, since I was a kid. I could adapt well to the windy conditions today which I think was a huge advantage for me over Ted. But one of the turning points for me was the eagle at the par five (480 yards) seventh hole.

?A solid drive left the ball 240 yards away from the pin and using a three wood again, I blasted it as the ball then struck the flag and landed two feet away for an eagle. It gave me a two stroke lead and I never looked back,? said Lu.

Oh, gunning for his maiden title on the Asian Tour, faded away on the back nine with one birdie against three bogeys as he claimed his second runner-up finish of the tournament.

?I played bad today. I had a lot of chances and I blew it. I gave it away but all credit to Lu who was solid throughout,? said Oh, who finished in a similar position back in 2004.

?I was missing a lot of short putts and I didn?t get up and down from anywhere. My game wasn?t spot on today, there were so many opportunities for me but I never made the best of it.


?It?s been a good week though because I wouldn?t have thought I would finish second at the start of the week. I?ve been having near misses so many times and it?s getting to be a bit frustrating for me but I hope to work harder on my game after what happened today, that?s for sure,? added the 31-year-old Oh.

Despite three bogeys for the day, local player Hsu Mong-nan enjoyed his best finish in his eighth outing after a 75 placed him in outright third position six strokes behind the champion.

?It has been a great week for me. This is my best result in the past eight tournaments I?ve played in the past years so I am very pleased.

?I have learnt a lot this week including how to cope with extreme weather and how to stay among the leading fray. I enjoyed my game this week and I think it is good preparation for me too as I hope to earn my card on the Asian Tour for the 2008 season,? admitted the 33-year-old Hsu.

Last year?s winner Gaurav Ghei of India carded a 77 as he claimed joint 35th place after a 302 total.

Leading final round scores

284 - Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 72-71-69-72

287 - Ted Oh (KOR) 71-68-72-76

290 - Hsu Mong-nan (TPE) 70-76-69-75

291 - Chen Yuan-chi (TPE) 76-69-71-75

292 - Jason Knutzon (USA) 75-72-76-69, Ashley Hall (AUS) 76-71-71-74

Gary Simpson (AUS) 72-71-75-74, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 72-74-71-75

Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 74-74-70-74

293 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 73-73-71-76, Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 73-75-70-75

294 - Chiang Chen-chi [A] (TPE) 72-73-78-71, Lin Wen-hong (TPE) 73-75-72-74, Prom Meesawat (THA) 72-76-72-74

295 - Gary Rusnak (USA) 73-73-76-73, Lin Keng-chi (TPE) 72-74-74-75, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 72-75-73-75

296 - Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 76-73-72-75, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 70-76-72-78

297 - Artemio Murakami (PHI) 71-75-73-78

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 UBS (Naming rights sponsor to the UBS Order of Merit and Official Financial Services Provider), Sofitel (Official Hotel), Srixon (Official Ball), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner) and ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.