Wu and Liang fired up for World Cup

Fri 08 Nov 2013

Wu and Liang fired up for World Cup

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Kuala Lumpur, November 8: China’s Wu Ashun is planning to enjoy a memorable debut at the US$8 million ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne Golf Club later this month.
The 28-year-old Wu has never featured in the storied tournament previously although China has played host to the World Cup on a number of occasions.
Wu and countryman Liang Wen-chong, the first Chinese to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2007, will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the game’s top stars from November 21-24, 2013.
“It is very exciting for me because I have wanted to play in the World Cup for a very long time,” said Wu.
“I’m very happy that I have qualified for this prestigious event. The World Cup was staged in China for many years but I never had the chance to play in it or even watch it at the golf course. I was always competing in another tournament,” added Wu.
Wu Ashun of China Wu Ashun of China
Wu and Liang represent the second generation of Chinese golf stars who are slowly making their presence felt on the world stage.
If Liang achieved fame by becoming his country’s first Asian Tour number one, the powerfully built Wu holds the honour of being the first Chinese golfer to win on the Japan Golf Tour when he claimed victory at the Toshin Cup last season.
This year, Wu has yet to replicate his winning form with five top-20s to his name but he acknowledges that a first appearance in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf will serve as an inspiration for him to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The Olympics will use a similar qualifying process as with the World Cup where players become eligible through their Official World Golf Ranking.
“It will be my first time playing in Australia, so I’m really excited to head out there. I think this new format will help prepare everyone for the Olympics in 2016. I’m definitely proud that I’ll be representing China with my brother Liang,” said Wu, who only learned to play golf at the age of 17.
Liang, currently ranked 132nd in the world, has enjoyed eight top-10s around the globe this season and is presently sixth on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit. He is hoping to enjoy a good week at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf.
The tenacious Chinese is determined to make an impact at Royal Melbourne which will showcase an individual competition with prize money of US$7 million and also a team event (for nations with two players in the field) with US$1 million on offer.
“It is an exciting feeling to have the opportunity to represent China in the World Cup. I hope that I can play well and get a good result for my country. It will be a different format this year and I think it is a good move because it is almost similar to the format for the 2016 Olympics,” said the 35-year-old Liang.
“I was happy the World Cup was held in China for many years before moving to Australia. I think the fans and golfers there had a really good experience watching the top players in action. I’m sure Australia will hold a great event this year,” he added.
He reckons that countryman Wu can surprise a few people at Royal Melbourne, which is regarded as one of the top golf venues in Australia.
“Wu is very hardworking and dedicated. I’m glad that he has qualified for the World Cup and I hope that both of us will do well,” said Liang, who has multiple appearances in the World Cup of Golf.
Other Asian players who have qualified for the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf through the Official World Golf Ranking are Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, India’s Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, Korea’s K.J. Choi and Bae Sang-moon, Filipinos Angelo Que and Antonio Lascuna, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa and Hideto Tanihara and Bangladeshi Siddikur.
Tickets to witness the ISPS HANDA World Cup are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.com.au.
About ISPS
ISPS is a ‘General Incorporated Association’ based in Tokyo.  ISPS was founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world.  ISPS has fostered partnerships with golf governing bodies worldwide to help develop the game at every level and promote blind and disabled golf.  ISPS’s heritage in supporting blind and disabled golf and Dr Handa’s interest and philanthropic contribution in golf has formed the foundation of its wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport. Visit www.ispsgolf.com
About Melbourne
Known as one of the world’s most liveable cities, it is Melbourne’s sophisticated, yet edgy style combined with super-friendly people that gives the city its personality. With an impressive calendar of high profile international events, including The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and The Australian Open Tennis Championships, Melbourne is a leader in staging major events and providing a world-class welcome to international visitors.
With inner-city precincts ranging from the infamous city centre laneways to the beachy, bayside chic of the south and eclectic northside cool – Melbourne is a city of constant discovery where fashion, food, sport and entertainment, shopping, heritage, the arts and good living all come together to creative a lifestyle envied by many around the world. Food and wine lovers in particular will be in food heaven in gourmet Melbourne. Eating experiences range from award-winning celebrity chef restaurants to farmers markets selling locally sourced wines and fresh produce.
As one of the most compact regions in Australia, Victoria offers a huge variety of landscapes and experiences within a few hours of Melbourne. Whether its deserts, alpine ski resorts, mighty rivers, great lakes, wildlife, or the unparalleled spectacle and beauty of the world renowned Great Ocean Road, Victoria is all about quality experiences.
Many of the state’s regional attractions, including valleys of vineyards and international surf beaches, are less than a two-hour drive from Melbourne. But with more time to spare, the entire state offers a variety of scenic routes ideal for self-drive and personalised tours.
About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – The European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis.  As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.  The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999, while the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas joined the Federation as associate members in 2000 and 2007, respectively.
In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
About the International Golf Association
The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956.  IGA is governed by its seven-member Board of Directors.  Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman.  Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2013 return of the World Cup to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, one of the world’s greatest golf venues.
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,500 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com  Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ IMG_Worldwide and Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/IMG-Worldwide/