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Liang close to Order of Merit crown
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Following Sunday's conclusion of the Kolon-Hana Bank Korea Open, China's Liang Wenchong has taken another purposeful stride towards the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit title.


Liang finished tied for 12th place at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club. The US$14,973 in prize money increased his season total to US$469,708. Fijian star Vijay Singh won the tournament by two strokes.


The 29-year-old Liang, in line to become the first Chinese to win the prestigious UBS Order of Merit title, is now more than US$42,000 ahead of second-place South African Anton Haig and almost US$125,000 ahead of third-place Scott Hend of Australia.


With seven events remaining this season, Liang is hoping to build on his advantage, especially with the lucrative events scheduled for the closing stages of the 2007 Asian Tour.


"I am happy with my performance in Korea," said Liang. "I was unwell over the past two weeks and the course was really tough. Considering those two points, I am quite pleased with my result.


"There are several big events coming up and a lot can still happen. These next few weeks will be crucial and we might see some big movers. But I focus on my own game and hope to continue with my steady form."


Last week's finish was Liang's 10th top-15 outing of the year, which includes a career breakthrough triumph at the Clariden Leu Singapore Masters.


The race to finish within the top-60 in the UBS Order of Merit also intensified over the weekend as players fight to earn full playing rights for the 2008 season, as well as a place in the season-finale Volvo Masters of Asia at the Thai Country Club in December.


Korean-American Anthony Kang registered his third top-10 finish of the year, jumping from 50th overall to 31st place. Australian Adam Groom also moved into the comfort zone by tying for eighth place, bringing him from 65th to 47th place on the UBS Order of Merit.


The Asian Tour heads to New Delhi for this week's US$500,000 Hero Honda Indian Open. Title-holder Jyoti Randhawa of India and last year's UBS Order of Merit champion Jeev Milkha Singh will headline the event.


(China Daily October 12, 2007)

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