4 July, 2016: Shunya Takeyasu of Japan, Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung and Scott Barr of Australia were left heartbroken at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on Sunday but they will not give up on their dream to win a first Asian Tour title.
Asian Tour rookie Takeyasu missed a birdie chance on the last hole for the outright victory and was edged out by Spaniard Carlos Pigem with a birdie on the first play-off at the US$500,000 Asian Tour event.
The Japanese, who earned an Asian Tour card through Qualifying School earlier this year, took consolation in his best result on the region’s premier Tour which moved him to 38th place on the Order of Merit.
“I gave my best and was unlucky in the play-off. I hit a wayward shot into the rough and that really made things very tough for me. It’s not my week but I know I’m capable of playing good golf and it can only get better from here,” said the 23-year-old Takeyasu.
A disappointed Fung fought back the tears knowing that only a victory at the Yeangder TPC would have seen him overtake countryman Gavin Green on the Official World Golf Ranking and earn a place in the Olympics in August.
The bespectacled Fung is one of the brightest prospects to emerge from Malaysia and he has come close to winning before settling for second best at the 2013 Indonesia Open and 2015 The World Classic Championship in Singapore.
Late bogeys on holes 15 and 17 at the Yeangder TPC dashed his title hopes but Fung vowed to continue the chase for his breakthrough win on the Asian Tour. He moved to 23rd place on the Order of Merit following the third place result in Taipei.
“So close yet so far for me again this week. I did what I had to do but unfortunately not good enough to win. It might not be the right time for me to win yet and I just have to work harder. I’ve to remain more positive and confident about myself. I’m sure I’ll be a winner one day,” said the 26-year-old Fung.
The first Asian Tour win continues to elude Barr, who has played in 253 tournaments and has successfully retained his Tour card since 2004. He was disappointed with a poor front nine in the final round but took pride with how he played earlier in the week.
“It was a good week. I started well but didn’t get the breaks I was hoping for. I then started hitting some poor shots which was a shame and my swing got out of sync and I was trying to regain it back for the rest of the day.
“There’s always a next time. I’m happy with the way I played earlier in the week, which was good,” said the 44-year-old Barr.
Marcus Fraser of Australia holds on to his lead on the Order of Merit with earnings of US$637,261 while Jeunghun Wang of Korea trail in second place by approximately US$150,000.
Australia’s Scott Hend, who won his ninth Asian Tour title at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand two weeks ago, sits in third place on US$367,399. Filipino Miguel Tabuena and Korea’s Soomin Lee are in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Pigem moved the 16th position on the Merit rankings with earnings of US$129,692.
The Asian Tour will next head to Thailand for the US$750,000 King’s Cup, which will be staged at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club, Pattaya from July 28 to 31.
ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT – TOP-20
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
- Marcus FRASER (AUS) 637,261
- Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 484,386
- Scott HEND (AUS) 367,399
- Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 341,333
- Soomin LEE (KOR) 319,301
- S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 312,213
- Yuta IKEDA (JPN) 273,473
- Younghan SONG (KOR) 224,772
- Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 198,990
- Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 167,868
- Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 154,745
- K.T. KIM (KOR) 150,500
- Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 144,618
- Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 144,178
- Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 134,124
- Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 129,692
- Angelo QUE (PHI) 120,125
- Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 115,214
- Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 112,032
- Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 109,020
Asian Tour Release