Smith excited for Asian Tour return #TaiwanMasters

Wed 30 Sep 2015

Smith excited for Asian Tour return #TaiwanMasters

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Taipei, September 30: After enjoying successful exploits in the United States, young talent Cameron Smith will make a return to Asia for the US$650,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters, which starts on Thursday.
Cameron Smith of Australia Cameron Smith of Australia
The 22-year-old Australian will headline an international cast of players from 22 countries, who include Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, local hotshots Chan Shih-chang and Pan Cheng-tsung, Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant and Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines, at the challenging Taiwan Golf and Country Club’s Tamsui course.
Smith was crowned the Rookie of the Year last season after finishing fifth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit thanks to seven top-10s. He made a name for himself with an impressive tied-fourth finish in his US Open debut earlier in June and earned a spot in the PGA Championship two months later where he came in tied-25th.
“I had a great experience at the US Open. It was a dream finish for me. Playing on the Asian Tour last year has helped a lot as I was able to get into the moment and just do my own thing out there.
“The course is looking good. I thought it held up pretty good after being swept by Typhoon Dujuan on Monday. I was just trying to play my best out there last year. I hope to do the same this time round,” said the young Australian, who enjoyed a tied-sixth finish in the event last year.
Fresh from a well-deserved rest back home in Queensland, Smith will continue his chase for a maiden Asian Tour win and boost his chances of qualifying for next month’s CIMB Classic by remaining inside top-10 on the Merit rankings.
“I did nothing at all during the break. I was just lying at home and going to the gym as usual. That’s about it. It’s nice to be back, especially after a great season last year. It’s good to see the guys out here again and catch up with them. Hopefully a good result this week will boost my chances of qualifying for the CIMB Classic,” added Smith.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore Mardan Mamat of Singapore
Like Smith, Mardan is also hoping for a good showing at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters to help him break into top-10 on the Merit rankings to qualify for the prestigious CIMB Classic.
“Obviously, my main objective is to try and qualify for the CIMB Classic. But I believe as long as I play well, the results will come. I will take it one tournament at a time. I am just one rung away from qualifying right now so I will definitely try and do my best. Every week counts from now,” said the 47-year-old Singaporean, ranked 11th on the Order of Merit.
Local prospect Chan kept up his hopes of recapturing the trophy on home soil. “I definitely hope a local player can win this week. I haven’t played really well in this tournament before but I have shot a 63 on this course in a local tournament before so I hope I can do that again this week.”
“I thought the local field is pretty strong, especially with Pan Cheng-tsung making his home debut. We also have veteran Lu Wen-teh who has won the tournament four times in total. I think we have pretty good chances this week,” added the 28-year-old Chan, who holds a record five wins on the Asian Development Tour.
Pan, who sensationally won two titles in Canada over a span of three months after turning professional in June, will make a highly-anticipated home debut this week. “This is my first event as a professional at home and also my first event in nine years playing in front of the home crowd. I am really looking forward to it,” said the 23-year-old Pan.
Chan Shih-chang of Taiwan Chan Shih-chang of Taiwan
Other notable players include China’s Liang Wen-chong, Prom Meesawat of Thailand, Filipino Angelo Que, Indian duo Arjun Atwal and Rahil Gangjee, as well as local prospects Lu Wei-chih, Lu Wen-teh, Lin Wen-tang and Hsieh Chi-hsien.
Players will be vying for good showings at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters to boost their chances of qualifying for the prestigious CIMB Classic and WGC-HSBC Champions.
As of October 26, the leading four golfers from the Order of Merit will earn starting places in the US$8.5 million HSBC Champions in November while the leading 10 players will qualify for the US$7 million CIMB Classic at the end of October.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.