Kuala Lumpur, April 15 (IANS) In lifting his sixth Asian Tour title, which made him the player with most victories from Chinese Taipei, Lin Wen-tang proved he was finally out of a mini slump and back to his best form.
The 38-year-old rolled the right numbers to win the inaugural Solaire Open in the Philippines Sunday to end a three-year title drought and a lean two-year spell where he lost his full playing rights on the region’s premier Tour last season, said an Asian Tour press release.
Niggling injuries have not been too kind for Lin but his success at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club served as a timely reminder that he was very capable of establishing his lasting legacy in Chinese Taipei and across Asia.
The victory over Thammanoon Srirot of Thailand and Canadian newcomer Richard T. Lee took his career tally one more than Lin Keng-chi and Lu Wen-teh and he is now eyeing a repeat of his best season in 2008 when he won twice and posted seven other top-10s to break into the world’s top-50 then.
“It has been a long wait; three years since I last won. I’m really glad I did it,” said Lin, whose winner’s cheque of $54,000 took him up to 21st position on the latest Order of Merit.
Lin lived up to his reputation as a great escape artiste by producing a birdie and par save from the trees over the closing two holes to secure his triumph. It was reminiscent of his shot from out of the trees during the 2008 Hong Kong Open which kept him in the play-off where he subsequently defeated Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari.
Lee, playing his rookie season on the Asian Tour, moved to 33rd on the Order of Merit with his tied second finish while Thammanoon, a five-time Asian Tour winner, moved to 35th.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-10
1. Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) $616,535
2. Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) $269,066
3. Scott Hend (AUS) $207,915
4. Liang Wen-chong (CHN) $175,909
5. Baek Seuk-hyun (KOR) $147,004
6. Anirban Lahiri (IND) $86,586
7. Bryce Easton (RSA) $85,005
8. Wade Ormsby (AUS) $82,868
9. Joonas Granberg (FIN) $80,812
10. Chawalit Plaphol (THA) $74,196