May 16, 2017: Young talent Liu Yan-wei of China plans to keep things simple in his pursuit for a career breakthrough at the US$300,000 Thailand Open, which gets underway on Thursday.
The 19-year-old Liu, only Chinese player in the elite field this week, is enjoying one of his best seasons so far, claiming one top-10 result on the Asian Tour in February and another tied-11th place finish on the European Tour last month.
Liu, ranked 556th on the latest Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), also enjoyed solid finishes on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), claiming two top-three results in three starts this season. He was placed at 1092nd position at the start of the season.
Liu will be among the elite field contending for the prestigious title at the highly-acclaimed Thai Country Club, which has hosted Asian Tour events in the past.
He will feature in the storied event alongside former Order of Merit champions Scott Hend of Australia, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thaworn Wiratchant, American David Lipsky and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh.
The Thailand Open, one of the oldest National Championship in Asia, is returning onto the Asian Tour schedule following an eight-year lapse this week.
Did you know?
- Liu is the only Chinese player in the field this week. He notched his first top-10 finish on the Asian Tour in Bangladesh earlier this year and enjoyed a tied-11th place result on the European Tour at the Shenzhen International last month.
- Liu turned professional in 2015. He is making his second appearance in the Thailand Open but is playing at the Thai Country Club for the very first time.
- Liu missed out on his full playing rights on the Asian Tour after failing to make the mark at the Qualifying School in January. He switched his focus onto the Asian Development Tour and claimed two top-three finishes in three starts so far this season.
- Singh, one of the board members of the Tour, is a two-time Order of Merit champion on the Asian Tour in 2006 and 2008. In both years, he was crowned the Merit champion following the season-ending events at the Thai Country Club.
- Kapur won his first Asian Tour title at the Thai Country Club in 2005 and was named the Rookie of the Year that season.
- Kapur enjoyed a stellar amateur career where the main highlight was winning the 2002 Asian Games individual gold medal in Korea.
- Kiradech, the 2013 Order of Merit champion, is chasing for a third Asian Tour title and first on home soil at the Thailand Open this week. He is also a three-time winner on the European Tour.
- Kiradech is also aiming to become the fourth Thai player, following Suthep Meesawat (1991), Boonchu Ruangkit (1992 and 2004) and Prayad Marksaeng (2013) to win his National Championship.