Local talent Chan Shih-chang will head to the Charming Yeangder ADT with the aim of winning his fifth Asian Development Tour (ADT) title when the event gets underway on Thursday.
Chan, one of the most successful players on the ADT with a total of four titles, will headline the impressive line-up at the US$150,000 event, which is the burgeoning Tour’s first stop in Chinese Taipei this season.
Order of Merit leader Arie Irawan of Malaysia is among the strong international cast from 20 countries who will gather at the scenic National Garden Golf and Country Club.
He will be joined by countrymen Rizal Amin and Wilson Choo, James Byrne of Scotland, a two-time ADT winner, Brett Munson of the United States and Japanese duo Masaru Takahashi and Mitsuhiko Hashizume.
Sean Riordan of New Zealand, American duo Shane Smith and Micah Lauren Shin, ranked fifth, sixth and seventh on the Order of Merit, will also feature in the event alongside Asian Tour champions Lin Wen-tang, Lu Wei-chih and Yeh Wei-tze of Chinese Taipei.
Chan won three victories last year which was matched by Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert and the talented duo battled tooth-and-nail for the Order of Merit crown before the Thai eventually prevailed.
The 28-year-old Chan will play in his first tournament in 2015 with renewed hopes as he won on this venue in a local event last year.
“I am feeling confident this week, especially having won on this course before. Putting will be a key to score this week and tee shots are very important on this course. If I can putt well this week, I should see myself in contention,” said Chan.
“I’ve been working a lot on my fitness during the down season. A good result this week will be a great start for me this season. My aim is to continue to boost my world rankings through playing on the Asian Tour and ADT and hopefully get into the Olympic Games in 2016,” added Chan, who will be in the field for the Olympic Games based on his latest rankings.
The 18-year-old Shin, playing in his second year on the ADT, will bid for a maiden ADT win which will boost his rankings on the Order of Merit where he is currently placed seventh.
“It’s my first time playing here and I’m feeling very excited. I played the practice round and the course is looking really good. I had a good start to the season with a second place finish in Langkawi last month. Hopefully I can reproduce that good form again this week,” said Shin.
Malaysia’s Rizal, who won his first ADT title last year, admits that the blustery conditions will make it a huge challenge for players this week.
“The conditions are awesome and the facilities are great here. It’s windy and the greens are sloppy so it’s going to be quite a challenge this week. I’m playing with much confidence now after winning my first ADT title last December,” said the 31-year-old Rizal.
Byrne hopes to find for more consistency in his game as he chases for one of the five 2016 Asian Tour cards which will be rewarded to the top five players on the final ADT Order of Merit.
“The game’s feeling good at the moment. I’ve played quite a few this season and I’ve had some good rounds. I just hope I can be more consistent this week. I’ve played here before in 2012 so I’m pretty familiar with this course. I will play as well as I can every round. I’ll be putting a lot of energy on the ADT this season as I want to finish top-five on the Order of Merit,” Byrne said.
The winner of the Charming Yeangder ADT will take home a winner’s prize purse of US$26,250 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
The ADT will 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 www.