Thursday, October 22, 2015

Link to live scoring from the Hong Kong Open



Three years ago Lu Wei-chih feared he may never play golf again. On Thursday morning he fired an opening 64 to take the clubhouse lead at the UBS Hong Kong Open.
The 36 year old claimed his first Asian Tour victory in 2005 at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters but had to wait six years to claim another at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.
A tie for third at the Hero Indian Open followed and, when he claimed a second Mercuries Taiwan Masters crown just a month later, he sealed a ninth-placed finish on the Order of Merit.
2012 looked set to be his year but then disaster struck as a non-malignant tumour was found, forcing the father of two to undergo brain surgery and take nearly a year out of the game.
"After the surgery, for the first six months after the surgery, I pretty much gave up all my confidence and trust because I have no power and I didn't think I can play golf anymore," he said.
"So I had to rest over six months and then finally, I started playing a little bit of the Taiwan Tour. But for the next several months, I played in Taipei and the rest of Taiwan.
"If I played 18 holes, I can barely play until 14 or 15 and then the last three holes, I don't think I can even walk through all 18 holes. I just lost all my physical ability.
"Also, because of the surgery, my weight went up to 93 kilograms. I lost a lot of metabolism and lost a lot of power.
"But about a year after my surgery, I started talking to the Asian Tour and they gave me the opportunity to get back on the Tour and play some events. And finally, I started coming back mentally and physically."
The road back was still not smooth, however, with Lu having to limit his schedule due to fatigue.
"The doctor said after the surgery, there's no quick fix; no pill that can really make the recovery much quicker," he said. "It all depends on the exercise and nutrition, and it's going to take a long time to recover physically. I just have to be patient.
"For the last two years, because of my brain tumour surgery, I can only play two events and then have to rest. But this is my sixth week, so this is very much a challenge for me; the longest stretch since my surgery."
Lu has played eight events this season with his best finish a tie for 16th at that happy hunting ground of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters.
He has the chance to improve on that this week in Fanling and if he does, he will put much of the credit down to his medical staff and the support of his family.
"When I was playing every week two years ago, at that moment, I wasn't quite sure how much longer I would last," he said.
"It's all the support and encouragement from parents and my wife and especially from my kids. They keep supporting me, and I just have to tell myself that I want to be a real golfer again and compete on the Tour."
Lu is very much competing in Hong Kong so far and should he go on and win this week, it would be one of the stories of the season.



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