Chan hits new heights following King’s Cup win

Chan Shih-chang claimed a first Asian Tour title at King’s Cup on Sunday.

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Chan Shih-chang - Image source Asian Tour

Aug 1, 2016:  The emergence of yet another Asian Tour champion Chan Shih-chang from Chinese Taipei is very much due to the success and role of the region’s secondary circuit, the Asian Development Tour (ADT).

After securing multiple victories on the ADT where he learned how to contend and close out tournaments, Chan Shih-chang claimed a first Asian Tour title at the US$750,000 King’s Cup on Sunday.

His transition from the ADT, which is the gateway to the region’s premier Tour, to Asian Tour winner is inspiring as Chan took the long and hard road to success.

The 30-year-old began his career on the Asian Tour in 2012 but found it difficult to break through as he failed to finish inside the top-80 of the Order of Merit.

With limited playing opportunities against the big boys, he turned his attention onto the ADT which proved to be a master stroke. Not only did he enjoy greater tournament exposure, he used the ADT events to sharpen his game and gain confidence.

His winning breakthrough arrived in 2013 when he won the 2013 PGM UMW Sabah Classic in Malaysia on the ADT. Then in 2014, he enjoyed three victories to automatically earn an Asian Tour card for the remainder of the year.

A fifth ADT crown followed at the 2015 Ambassador ADT on home soil as he became the joint winningest player with good friend Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand.

After his success on the ADT, Chan signed up for the Asian Tour Qualifying School in early 2016 and finished in a share of 15th place to secure his card.

Six months later, he would soon emerge as a deserving winner at the King’s Cup where he pipped countryman Lin Wen-tang by two shots.

Chan said but the experience of competing and winning on the ADT had prepared him for life on the big stage.

“The ADT gives us a good platform to advance in our careers, especially with the world ranking points on offer. I just kept playing in tournaments so that I could gain experience and hone my skills. That’s why I chose to play on the ADT,” said the slightly built Chan.

He felt nervous at the start of the final day in Pattaya but as the round progressed, Chan showed nerves of steel as he defeated Lin, who waited by the 18th green to celebrate the victory with his young compatriot.

“I was actually feeling very nervous when I started my round. I knew it would be a very close fight as there was little separating the leaders at the start of the day. I told myself to play my own game and not look at the leaderboard too much so that I’ll not feel so nervous,” he said.

“Words cannot describe how I felt when I sank that last putt. It has always been my dream to win on the Asian Tour and I did it. The future is bright and I can only look forward from here,” smiled Chan.

Chan is only one of many talented players on the ADT who includes Pavit, who won the 2014 ADT Order of Merit title, Nicholas Fung of Malaysia, who represented Team Asia at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM on two occasions and Gavin Green, who will represent Malaysia at the Olympics Games.

Other players such as Chikkarangappa S. of India, Poom Saksansin of Thailand and reigning ADT number one Casey O’Toole of the United States have also shown potential in following Chan’s footsteps.

With his victory at the King’s Cup, Chan moved to a career-high 16th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with earnings of US$137,010.

Marcus Fraser of Australia remains at the top of the Merit list with US$637,261 while Jeunghun Wang of Korea trails by slightly over US$150,000 in second place.

Scott Hend (US$376,882) of Australia, who is a nine-time Asian Tour winner, sits in third place followed by Filipino Miguel Tabuena (US$354,176) and Soomin Lee of Korea (US$328,396).

The Asian Tour stars will contend for gold next week when golf makes a welcome return to the Olympic Game at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro from August 11 to 14.

ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT – TOP-20

Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)

  1. Marcus FRASER (AUS) US$637,261
  2. Jeunghun WANG (KOR) US$484,386
  3. Scott HEND (AUS) US$376,882
  4. Miguel TABUENA (PHI) US$354,176
  5. Soomin LEE (KOR) US$328,396
  6. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) US$316,017
  7. Yuta IKEDA (JPN) US$282,956
  8. Younghan SONG (KOR) US$224,772
  9. Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) US$202,080
  10. Shaun NORRIS (RSA) US$167,868
  11. K.T. KIM (KOR) US$161,349
  12. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) US$154,745
  13. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) US$153,920
  14. Rahil GANGJEE (IND) US$144,618
  15. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) US$140,545
  16. CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) US$137,010
  17. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) US$132,342
  18. Angelo QUE (PHI) US$123,930
  19. Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) US$115,214
  20. Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) US$112,032

Asian Tour Release

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