"Q&A with Emmet Hsu, Chairman of Yeangder Group"

Mon 09 Sep 2013

"Q&A with Emmet Hsu, Chairman of Yeangder Group"

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Taipei, September 9: Emmet Hsu, Chairman of Yeangder Group, is a big supporter of golf across the region. In this Q&A, Hsu talks about the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship and supporting a talented group of Chinese Taipei players including Asian Tour winners Lin Wen-tang and Chan Yih-shin.
The US$500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players’ Championship starts on Thursday at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club where Gaganjeet Bhullar of India will defend his title.
This is the fourth year that the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship will be held on the Asian Tour. Are you happy with how it has progressed?
Definitely. I’m so glad that we have signed another three-year contract with the Asian Tour, and we’ll have the Yeangder TPC on the Asian Tour Schedule for the next three years (until 2015). This is what we have been doing for the development of golf in Chinese Taipei and the Asian Tour.
What made you decide to sponsor events on the Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour?
The golf industry in Chinese Taipei did not progress previously. Other Asian countries have been doing so well in every aspect of their own golf industry, such as enhanced exposure of the host country and the players’ elevated status on the Official World Golf Ranking. I felt worried and because I have a great passion for golf, I thought of how to support and develop the golf industry. Hence, I wanted to increase the number of Asian Tour events held in Taipei, so that Taiwanese players may have more chances to get into the Asian Tour.
In addition, golf will be an official event in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Like many other world class events, the Olympics qualification will be in accordance with the world rankings. As the Asian Tour afford world golf ranking points, players will try to finish well in every tournament in order to elevate their rankings. This increases their chances of playing in world class tournaments.
The Asian Tour celebrates its 10th season this year, what are your thoughts on Asian golf and how much have you seen it progressed over the years?
The Asian Tour has progressed very fast in the past 10 years. The number of tournaments has substantially increased every year, which provides all golfers from around the world with a sound and well-developed stage to compete on. Especially in Asia, the overall golf environment has become more vibrant with the increased number of tournaments and prie money. More young players are also pro-actively devoting their careers to golf.
I have seen more and more young golfers from other Asian countries who are aggressive and have played so well. Also, playing in tournaments sanctioned with the European Tour can be a springboard for the players for getting an entry into the European Tour and PGA Tour.  In recent years, Korea, Thailand, India, Malaysia, China and Philippines have raised many young golfers. The constructive competition is something the Asian Tour provides.
The Yeangder Group also sponsors young players. Who do you think has the potential to enjoy the same / or even more success than Lin Wen-tang?
Yeangder Group has sponsored quite a few young golfers, including professionals and amateurs. I think they all have potentials. As long as they keep working hard, each of them may become a top player in Asia, and even in the world.
For the time being, the only golfer who has stood out is the 20-year-old Hung Chien-yao. He earned an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School this year. At the end of July he was placed 61st on the Order of Merit, just behind “the man of Chinese Taipei” Lin Wen-tang, who is currently ranked 29th.
What do you think of Lin Wen-tang’s success at the Solaire Open in the Philippines?
I was very excited and relieved because this was his sixth Asian Tour title since he won the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2009. The title not only brought him confidence, but it was also exciting for the entire golf industry in Chinese Taipei as well as every golfer under the Yeangder Group. Lin’s victory also showed his significant influence in the golf industry here.
Lin is almost 40 years old and I hope the young golfers can catch up with him as soon as possible.
If you could choose one player to win the Yeangder TPC this year, who would it be and why?
There are many outstanding local and international golfers playing at the Yeangder TPC. I believe they all have the ability to win.
How does the Yeangder Group benefit by hosting an Asian Tour tournament?
It is unnecessary to enhance the brand image of Yeangder Group in Chinese Taipei, or to get any profit by hosting golf tournaments. I want to host this Asian Tour tournament because I love golf and I sincerely would like to improve Chinese Taipei’s golf industry. I want to see if we can get the former title “the kingdom of Asian golf” back.
In your opinion, has golf in Chinese Taipei improved over the years?
It has improved due to the increased number of tournaments. However, the level of improvement and the number of golfers should increase. By hosting golf tournaments, the Yeangder Group has become the biggest supporter of golf in Chinese Taipei and we strive to help the younger players grow.
What needs to be done to elevate the game of golf to a higher standard?
More passion for golf and funding from entrepreneurs should be added. We also need to raise more funds and get more people involved such as experienced event managers (or an events team) who are able to organise more tournaments. Hopefully more people will start paying attention to golf, playing golf, and watching the action at the golf course.
Who would you like to see win this year’s Yeangder TPC?
Hopefully any player supported by Yeangder Group
Ends.