Sunday, November 17, 2013


Manila, November 17: China’s Liang Wen-chong marked his return to the Philippines after more than five years by defeating Thailand’s Prom Meesawat in the first play-off hole to win the inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday.
The Chinese third Asian Tour win was made even more significant as he decided to donate half of his total winnings to victims suffering from the aftermath of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.
Liang’s run at the Resorts World Manila Masters was also remarkable as he had to play through the pain barrier and force his way into the play-off with Prom after closing with a three-under-par 69 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
“Before coming over to the Philippines, I was really affected by what I saw of the damage and victims suffering from the aftermath of the Typhoon on television. I’ve decided to donate 50% of my winnings to do my part and support the relief efforts,” said Liang, who took home the winner’s prize cheque of US$135,000.
Liang, who had taken the overnight lead, extended his advantage after two birdies on holes three and four during regulation play.
He dropped a shot on a par-three fifth but turned his game around following a double-bogey six on the ninth.
The Chinese decided to drop his cautious approach and opted for an aggressive style of play instead.
His attack paid off handsomely as he fired four birdies on the holes 11th, 13th, 15th and the all-important 18th which would lead the contest into a play-off with Prom after compiling his four-day total of 16-under-par 272.
At the first play-off hole, Liang seized the advantage when Prom’s second shot found the bunker.
The Thai could only blast his shot out of the bunker while Liang was in prime position for an eagle opportunity.
Liang snuffed out all hopes for Prom when his putt from the edge of the green stopped inches away from the pin.
A simple tap from the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner was enough for him to seal his win at the inaugural Asian Tour event.
“I’m really thankful for all the great support this week. I had Ali on my bag (Malaysia’s Danny Chia’s regular caddie) and he did a great job. The Asian Tour physiotherapist, Muk also did an excellent job in taping my wrist which really helped a lot. I guess it’s the combination of all these factors which led me to my win this week,” said Liang.  
Meanwhile Prom was left to wait longer for this second Asian Tour win despite a gutsy performance on a day where he carded a flawless 65 to stand on the brink of ending his seven-year title drought.
While the second win continued to elude him, Prom was optimistic with his welcome return to form as he had spent several frustrating years searching to regain that form.
“I had a bad season in 2010 when I lost all my confidence. I’ve been working very hard since. My friends and my team have been a great help. My wife and family have been supporting me too. I am glad I am starting to play good again,” said Prom.
Canadian rookie Richard T. Lee enjoyed another solid result in the Philippines after posting the day’s lowest round of 64 to share third place with fellow Asian Tour rookie Carlos Pigem in equal third on 273.
Lee, who finished second in the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, capped another memorable week in the Philippines after finding similar success with a tied-second finish in Manila in April.
“It has been a steady year for me. I came here this week looking to retain my Tour card and also to get that first win. I managed to achieve my first goal and I guess the next target now would be that win,” said Lee.
Pigem is also enjoying his experience on playing on the region’s premier Tour after posting his best result at the Resorts World Manila Masters.
“I played really good today. I missed three or four putts but overall, it’s good. I am really happy with my game this week. It does not matter how I finished today. I was kind of disappointed yesterday but I managed to make it up today,” said Pigem.
“It has been a great year playing in Asia. I have a few more events coming up. Hopefully I can maintain my good form till the end of the season,” added the Spaniard.
Par 288 (4x72) Yardage 7,377
272 - LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 67-69-67-69, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 67-67-73-65.
*Liang defeated Prom in the first play-off hole with a birdie
273 - Richard T. LEE (CAN) 65-68-76-64, Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 68-66-74-65.
274 - Stephen LEWTON (ENG) 70-66-71-67, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 67-71-68-68, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 64-69-72-69, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 70-64-70-70.
276 - Charles HONG (PHI) 66-70-75-65, Mithun PERERA (SRI) 69-67-71-69, David LIPSKY (USA) 66-69-69-72.
277 - WANG Jeung-hun (KOR) 67-74-68-68.
278 - Carlos SAINZ Jr. (PHI) 66-71-74-67, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 72-69-71-66, Chris RODGERS (ENG) 68-66-75-69, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 69-68-71-70, Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 68-67-72-71, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 68-68-71-71, David LUTTERUS (AUS) 68-70-69-71.
Selected scores
286 - Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 71-70-71-74, ZHANG Lian-wei (CHN) 68-72-73-73



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