Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing returns to Thailand for the season-opening Asian Tour International, determined to continue his winning ways in the same city where he last tasted his maiden Asian Tour success.
Held at the Suwan Golf and Country Club from February 5 to 8, this US$300,000 full-field Asian Tour event will be the first time since his triumphant win at the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia in Bangkok last December.
“I’m hoping to ride on my new-found confidence following my victory. The course this week is in good condition. The greens are slightly tricky and that is likely going to be the key this week,” said Lam.
Lam started his amazing run of good form towards the end of last season and is now eager to resume his title charge.
The Singaporean number one finished sixth at the Hana Bank Vietnam Masters followed by a runner-up result at the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open before ending off on a career high by grabbing top honours at the Volvo Masters of Asia.
The season seemed to end all too soon for the 32-year-old after that victory in Bangkok, as all he wanted to do then was to keep playing, considering that he was hitting top form.
“After my win at the Volvo Masters of Asia, I wanted to keep going as I was in good form and I didn’t want it to end just yet,” said Lam.
“I really have good memories here and one of my favourite cities is definitely Bangkok,” added the Singaporean.
While the euphoria of that win in Bangkok has since ended, Lam is now looking forward to savour more of such winning memories as the new season tees off.
“I played a lot of cards and mahjong with Unho (Park) during the season break and also spent time with my family. I’ve enjoyed a good rest as I know it is going to be another long year ahead but I’m looking forward to it,” said Lam.
While Lam will be looking to extend his winning run, Wales’s Rhys Davies will be seeking his maiden win, having come close with three top-10 finishes in 2008 and finishing his rookie year on the Asian Tour in 39th place on the Order of Merit.
“I want to try to get myself into contention as much as possible this year and if I can do that, I believe that there’ll be lots of opportunities to win,” said Davies.
“I’ve gained a lot of experience playing on the Asian Tour during my rookie year and I’m ready for the new challenges ahead,” added Davies.
Lin, a four-time Asian Tour winner, will undoubtedly be among the tournament marquee names after a career-best season in 2008 where he finished second on the Order of Merit and rose to 49th place on the Official World Golf Ranking which earned him a coveted place in the Masters Tournament in April.
“I haven’t played much golf since my last event (Volvo Masters of Asia) as it was really cold and wet in Taipei. However, I’m slowly getting myself to acclimatize to the weather here again and hope to do well in my title defense,” said Lin.
The Asian Tour International will also bring together a stellar Asian Tour field which includes local favourites Thaworn Wiratchant, Boonchu Ruangkit and Prayad Marksaeng and last season’s winners Korea’s Noh Seung-yul and Filipino Angelo Que.
Source: Asia Tour
(China.org.cn Feburary 5, 2009)