Thu, Jan 22, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Taiwan’s Lin eyes fruitful title defense

AFP , BANGKOK

Lin Wen-tang of Taiwan poses for a photo after winning the Hong Kong Open golf tournament at the Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling in Hong Kong on Nov. 23 last year.

PHOTO: AFP

Taiwanese star Lin Wen-tang (林文堂) is eyeing a successful title defense when he headlines the season-opening US$300,000 Asian Tour International next month in Thailand.

Lin, the winner of two titles en route to a career-high second place on the Order of Merit last season, will be joined by a strong field which includes local favorites Thaworn Wiratchant, Boonchu Ruangkit and Prayad Marksaeng.

The Asian Tour International will be played at Suwan Golf and Country Club in Bangkok from Feb. 5 to Feb. 8.

Lin said he was eager to start the new season on a winning note in preparation for his maiden major appearance at the US Masters in April on the back of getting into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I’m looking forward to playing again,” said Lin, who won the UBS Hong Kong Open in November after pulling off the shot of the season during the play-off when he hit high over trees to set up a birdie that kept him in the tournament.

“During the past few weeks, I’ve been playing practice rounds with friends and going to the range as well to keep my game in tune. I feel really good at the moment and I’m looking forward to the new season,” he said.

Lin, 34, produced a decisive ­victory at last year’s inaugural Asian Tour International, romping to a five-stroke victory over Korean teen star Noh Seung-yul with a closing 64.

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