ballantineChinese Taipei’s Liu Yen-hung surprised even himself when he carded a six-under-par 66 to grab a share of the first round lead at the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship on Thursday.

Playing on a sponsor’s invitation, Liu repaid the faith in his sponsors by breaking par for the first time in a long while to share the opening round lead with six other players that also featured compatriot Hsieh Chi-hsien, who has already won one ADT title at the National Golf Country Club where the US$110,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event is being staged.

Highly motivated by his opening round performance where he enjoyed an under-par round not seen in a long time, Liu is determined to maintain his good form at the ADT event.

“The last few competitive rounds that I played in were all in the 80s! So can you imagine my joy with today’s 66?

“If not for my only bogey on 18, I would have been even more delighted. I just need to regain my focus when I get back to the tee tomorrow and play like what I did today,” said Liu.

Liu will face a stiff challenge from compatriot Hsieh, who is no stranger to success at the National Golf Country Club.

Hsieh aims to secure his third win on the Asian Tour’s secondary circuit this week and continued to bank on his course familiarity for another promising start.

“I’ve won on this golf course before and I have a good feeling about doing well here again this week,” said Hsieh of his win at Charming Yeangder ADT in March.

“This course suits my game well and it helps that I was driving the ball really well today too,” added Hsieh.

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.

For more information on the ADT, please visit


Leading first round scores

66- LIU Yen-hung, (TPE), HSIEH Chi-hsien (TPE), Panuwat MUENLEK (THA), HSU Kuo-hsiung (TPE), YEH Wei-tze (TPE), Gyeongjun LEE (KOR), KAO Teng (TPE)

67- Nirun SAE-UENG (THA), Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE), WANG Tsung-chieh (TPE), Josh SALAH (USA), LIEN Lu-sen (TPE), Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA), WANG Wei-lun        (TPE), Gavin GREEN (MAS)

68- Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA), LIN Wen-tang (TPE), Pasamet POGAMNERD (THA), Nattapong PUTTA (THA), Himmat RAI (IND), Masaru TAKAHASHI          (JPN), Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA)

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