Casey O’Toole of the United States hopes to join the bandwagon of first time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winners at the Taifong Open next week.

The US$160,000 ADT event, which offers the highest prize purse on the Schedule this year, will kick start the second half of the ADT season at the Taifong Golf Club from July 30 to August 2.

In the first half of the year, the ADT welcomed 11 first time champions and O’Toole, who secured two third place finishes and four top-10 results, hopes to add his name to the list at the Taifong Open.

β€œThe Taifong Open is definitely the biggest one and I would love to win it. I feel like I have learned a lot this year and have put myself in contention a couple times. Hopefully I can keep doing that and give myself some more opportunities,” said the 24-year-old O’Toole.

O’Toole will challenge for honours against the talented field who include defending champion Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei and current Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien.

Reigning Order of Merit champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand will also feature in the event alongside Arie Irawan of Malaysia, Jake Stirling of Australia, Sean Riordan of New Zealand and Masaru Takahashi of Japan.

Ranked ninth on the Order of Merit, O’Toole hopes to make up ground in the race to finish inside the top-five on the Merit list at the end of the season and earn an Asian Tour card for 2016.

β€œMy game feels great because I got some good work in at home so hopefully I will be tournament ready. The ultimate goal is to finish inside the top-five (Order of Merit) and get an Asian Tour card. But for me I’m just taking it one tournament at a time so I’m just focused on the Taifong Open now,” he said.

Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 21 tournaments in 2014. The ADT has announced a provisional 2015 schedule of a minimum 24 tournaments with several more to be announced in due course.

The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.

With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.

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