Sunday, April 14, 2013


Manila, April 14: Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei lived up to his billing as the ‘Linsanity of Golf’, when he produced a heroic performance to win his long-awaited sixth Asian Tour title at the Solaire Open on Sunday. 
Lin hit two remarkable shots on 17 and 18 from the woods for a one-over-par 73 to defeat Asian Tour rookie Richard T. Lee of Canada and Thammanoon Sriroj of Thailand by one stroke at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
Lee battled to a 69 for his best Asian Tour result while Thammanoon’s title hopes faded when he bogeyed 16 and 18 for a 73 at the inaugural US$300,000 full field Asian Tour event.
South Korea’s Wang Jeung-hun (69) finished a further shot back while Elmer Salvador (74) settled as the best placed Filipino in fifth position on the region’s premier Tour which is celebrating its 10th season.
Lin, who trailed Thammanoon heading into the 17th hole, hit his tee shot into the woods but calmly punched out with a nine iron (90 yards to the green) before sinking his second birdie of the day. His second shot on 18 hit the branches but he recovered with a miraculous low punch shot to set up a 15 feet par putt, which he holed for the win.
His dramatic feat on the last two holes mirrored his previous victory at the 2008 Hong Kong Open where he also needed to hit it over the trees to stay alive in a playoff with Rory McIlroy.
“I felt like I was at the Hong Kong Open once again! I think lady luck is really on my side to let me win this tournament. I told myself to stay focus and not think about anything else,” said Lin, who totalled three-under-par 285 to win US$54,000 and an Omega Aqua Terra watch.
“Thammanoon was in a tough position on 18 so I thought to myself if I bogeyed, I can at least still get into a playoff. I’m really very lucky to have made that winning putt. To me second or third place are the same. The only difference if you are the champion,” he smiled.
Lin, whose last Asian Tour victory was in 2009, lost his Tour card last season but bounced back to his best form after switching to a new putter at the start of the week.
“My brother Wen-hong advised me to change to this new PING putter and it worked for me. I’m glad I changed it. I’m 39 this year so being close to 40 is not an issue at all! I guess I shouldn’t be considered old because I can still win,” he added.
Thammanoon, a five-time Asian Tour winner, rued an unlucky break on the 18th hole when he needed to hit his third shot onto the green from an awkward position.
“I was very unlucky because I hit quite a good second shot but it landed on the edge of the slightly elevated green. My legs were inside the bunker but my ball was on the edge of the green. It wasn’t easy to chip it out,” lamented the 43-year-old.
Canadian Lee, who played at the 2007 US Open as an amateur, was delighted to claim his second top-10 finish in three Asian Tour appearances.
“It was very exciting because I had to watch the outcome from the clubhouse. I’m glad with how I played and will take this confidence into the few Asian Tour events,” said Lee.
Par 288 (4x72) Yardage 7,222
285 - LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 69-73-70-73.
286 - Richard T. LEE (CAN) 72-71-74-69, Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) 73-69-71-73.
287 - WANG Jeung-hun (KOR) 72-76-70-69.
288 - Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) 74-69-71-74.
289 - Mars PUCAY (PHI) 69-76-73-71, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 73-72-72-72, Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA) 73-71-72-73, Unho PARK (AUS) 73-71-72-73.
290 - HSU Mong-nan (TPE) 74-72-71-73, Dodge KEMMER (USA) 66-79-71-74, Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA) 68-75-71-76.
291 - Sam BRAZEL (AUS) 73-75-73-70, CHAN Yih-shin (TPE) 75-72-73-71, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 70-75-73-73, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 74-71-73-73, Sam CYR (USA) 76-70-69-76.
292 - Jay BAYRON (PHI) 74-72-74-72.
293 - Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 72-75-77-69, Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 73-77-74-69, Himmat RAI (IND) 75-76-72-70, Carl SANTOS-OCAMPO (PHI) 72-72-76-73, Matt JAGER (AUS) 70-72-76-75, Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 74-70-73-76.



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