Tsai Hangs on to Win

Sun 30 Sep 2012

Tsai Hangs on to Win

Taipei, September 30: Tsai Chi-huang of Chinese Taipei won the Mercuries Taiwan Masters for the second time in his career despite shooting a final round of four-over-par 76 on Sunday.

Tsai started the day with a six-shot lead and preserved his advantage as he defeated closest rival Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines, who shot a 73, by four shots with a winning total of four-under-par 284 at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.

Rookie David Lipsky of the United States, who won his first Asian Tour title earlier this year, shot a 67, the best score of the day, to tie with Chan Yih-shin of Chinese Taipei (71) in third place at the US$600,000 Asian Tour event.

Tsai endured a sleepless night as he had doubts of winning the tournament. With only a three-hour night’s rest, he struggled early in the round as he was four-over after 15 holes but gained some momentum when he sank a huge 30-foot birdie putt on 16.

“Honestly I couldn’t sleep last night. I was wondering if I could make it to the end. I felt like I was still sleeping when I was on the first tee box. It was only when I finished 18th holes that I knew my dream had come true,” smiled Tsai, who won US$120,000 for his victory.

“The wind was blowing all over the place and I wasn’t the only one who was struggling. I guess I’m quite lucky to have won this,” added the 44-year-old, who also won the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2002.

Lascuna, who claimed his second runner-up finish in six seasons on the Asian Tour, stayed in touch with the leader for most of the round before three putting for bogey on the last.

“I saw the scores and I knew I had a chance to win. But I was playing par golf for most of the second nine and couldn’t score. I’m still happy with my result. I haven’t been in this position for a long time!” said the 41-year-old, who is still searching for a first Asian Tour win.

Chan, a two-time Asian Tour winner, narrowed Tsai’s lead to two shots at one point but slipped back with a bogey on 16 and a double bogey on 18. He took pride in his performance this week which ended an uncharacteristic run of 10 straight missed cuts on the Asian Tour.

“It was disappointing to double bogey the last hole. I had a bad lie for my second shot and two putted. I knew I was making a good run but I’m happy with how I finished. I can carry this confidence into the rest of the year,” said Chan, who will defend his Macau Open title in a fortnight.

Lipsky, who won the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier this year, rode on his luck as he was five-under after 11 holes which included three straight birdies from the fourth hole. His only blemish came on 12 which he wrote off with another birdie on 15.

“Honestly, I played the same as the first two days. It was all luck for me. I had the good bounces and had nice birdie chances. It is nice to play well and I’m looking forward to the next Asian Tour events,” said the 24-year-old Lipsky.

Scores after round 4 of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters 2012 being played at the par 72, 6923 Yards Tamsui Course course (a- denotes amateur):

284 - TSAI Chi-huang (TPE) 74-69-65-76.

288 - Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 70-73-72-73.

289 - David LIPSKY (USA) 72-74-76-67, CHAN Yih-shin (TPE) 74-74-70-71.

290 - Danny CHIA (MAS) 72-72-72-74.

291 - SUNG Mao-chang (TPE) 72-75-75-69, Angelo QUE (PHI) 70-75-75-71.

292 - BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 70-73-71-78.

293 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 73-77-73-70, Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 73-72-77-71, LU Chien-soon (TPE) 77-70-75-71, Sam CYR (USA) 73-76-72-72, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 75-74-68-76.

294 - Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 72-78-75-69, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 73-76-74-71, WANG Ter-chang (TPE) 73-76-72-73, WANG Shih-jui (TPE) 70-73-77-74.

295 - Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA) 73-72-77-73, LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 71-73-77-74, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 72-72-73-78.

For further information please contact Doyle De Costa at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters media centre at +6012 699 1976.


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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.