UBS.HKMalaysia’s Danny Chia is banking on another ‘feel-good’ factor as he targets a grandstand finish at the US$2 million UBS Hong Kong Open which starts on Thursday.

The Malaysian’s confidence has been hugely boosted by his recent win in Chinese Taipei and he feels he could spring another surprise on the galaxy of stars who have arrived at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

“I started to have more belief in myself after that win in Taiwan. I realised I can achieve more than what I can actually do. It’s a wonderful feeling,” said Chia.

Chia ended his 13-year wait for another Asian Tour title in Chinese Taipei earlier this month. Victory was especially sweet for the 42-year-old as he was almost forced out of the game by a career-threatening shoulder injury.

“To be honest, I was quite pleased with how I’ve been playing since my surgery. I’ve been playing in lots of good events and striking the ball very consistently. So that victory (Mercuries Taiwan Masters) did not come as a big surprise as I knew that win would come sooner or later,” said Chia.

Chia is feeling buoyant ahead of this week’s Hong Kong showpiece and heads into battle with similar sentiments as felt in Chinese Taipei.

“I’ve that same feeling and it’s just a matter of my course management around this golf course. If I can do it, I should do well again,” said Chia.

No less than 30 Asian Tour champions including seven Order of Merit winners will tee up at the UBS Hong Kong Open, which has welcomed the return of UBS as the title sponsor of Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event.

Dustin Johnson of the United States and England’s Justin Rose, both ranked in the world’s top-10, will also headline the elite field alongside Ryder Cup stars Victor Dubuisson of France, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, American Patrick Reed and four-time Hong Kong Open champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain.

England’s Ian Poulter, who won the UBS Hong Kong Open in 2010, will also feature after receiving a late tournament invitation.

McDowell, who has never finished outside the top-20 in all four of his previous appearances, is raring to get his title ambitions for the UBS Hong Kong Open going.

“I’ve been hitting the ball much better the last few months. So I feel like I’m really close. This is a golf course which I feel that I can compete and I would really love to be in contention going into the weekend,” said the Major winner.

Meanwhile Jimenez is aiming to rewrite the history books at the UBS Hong Kong Open and is looking forward to a good contest at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

“I don’t think anyone has won this event five times so it would be a special moment for me if I can make some more history here but we have to wait and see.

“It’s great to see such a good field here this week. We have Major winners, some of the highest ranked players in the world and some of the biggest names in the game and that can only be good for the tournament. You want to have the biggest and best fields as possible and you want to try and beat these guys to show you are still competitive,” said Jimenez.

The return of UBS as title sponsor for the first time since 2012 has seen the prize purse for the tournament increase to US$2 million in 2015 from US$1.3 million last year.

The event is also supported by the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Mega Events Fund and sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Hong Kong Golf Association.

With the funding support from the Mega Events Fund, the “UBS Hong Kong Open” has successfully secured the participation of a number of world’s leading golf players to play in this mega event.

Their presence will significantly boost the profile of the tournament as a major sporting event. The star names will not only support the promotion of this event, but will also help promote Hong Kong as a premier travel destination in the region and the local participation.

Past champions include Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson, José María Olazábal, Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jiménez and Colin Montgomerie.

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