Chan Shih-chang will be hoping a return to the scene of the most coveted win of his career will spark a strong finish to the 2023 Asian Tour season.
After a titanic battle with Indian Rashid Khan, Chan emerged victorious in last year’s Mercuries Taiwan Masters at the historic Taiwan Golf & Country Club.
It’s a success he’ll be aiming to repeat when the 37th edition of the US$1 million event takes place from September 28 to October 1.
Set to act as the 16th leg of the 2023 campaign, confirmation of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters means Asian Tour members can look forward to a two-week swing in the country.
A week earlier, Linkou International Golf and Country Club will be the venue for the Yeangder TPC.
Cho Minn Thant, the Asian Tour’s Commissioner & CEO, said: “The Mercuries Taiwan Masters has been a backbone event on the Asian Tour since the turn of the century and returning to the Tamsui course at Taiwan Golf & Country Club is always a pleasure for our members.
“As a popular stop on the Asian Tour for many decades, we’re delighted to be able to stage back-to-back events in Chinese-Taipei again this year.”
On the back of his defeat of Khan at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off last year, Chan placed sixth on the 2022 Order of Merit. It was the third occasion the man with five Asian Tour titles and six Asian Development Tour wins to his name had finished in the top-10 in the standings.
During the first half of 2023, though, Chan struggled for consistency, missing the cut in four of the nine events in which he competed. His best performance came in the International Series Qatar where he tied for 13th.
However, given his intimate knowledge of the tree-lined Tamsui Course that was founded in 1919, Chan will be looking to further improve on his remarkable record at the storied venue and become only the second player to make a successful title defence, after compatriot Lu Wen-teh (2007 and 2008).
Prior to his first Asian Tour victory on home soil last year, Chan tied third in the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2021 and equal second in 2020. Due to travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament was not part of the Asian Tour for those two years.
The richest professional men’s golf tournament in the country, the Mercuries Taiwan Masters has been dominated by home players since its inauguration in 1987.
With four wins, Lu Wen-teh is the most successful player in the tournament’s history followed by Lu Wei-chih (three wins) and Tsai Chi-huang (two).
The most recent overseas players to triumph are Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai (2019), Brazilian Adilson da Silva (2018) and Malaysian Gavin Green (2017).